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Growing Tree Preschool

​Where learning and fun grow together

​Gurnee Park District Preschool program philosophy is to educate children in a play-based, creative and nurturing atmosphere. Preschool staff work closely with families to build academic, social and self-help skills. Our ultimate goal is for children to love coming to school. 

Curriculum

​State of Illinois Early Learning Standards based curriculum.

C.A.R.E.

Before and After School CARE for 3 and 4 year olds

Flexible

Flexible dates, times, before and after school childcare options and convenient locations

Safety

Our facilities provide a safe, secure, and inviting environment for children to learn and grow

Meet Our Teachers

Image of Aimee Schneider Aimee Schneider Preschool Coordinator
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Aimee Schneider

Preschool Coordinator

Aimee Schneider taught at Gurnee Park District for twelve years before becoming the preschool coordinator in 2019. She has an associate’s degree in early childhood education. Her favorite part of her position is watching how much children love to learn new things and how proud they are of their accomplishments. She is passionate about making preschool a positive experience for children and parents.

Image of Jackie Beinlich Jackie Beinlich Preschool Teacher
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Jackie Beinlich

Preschool Teacher

Jackie Beinlich has a Bachelor’s Degree and is in her 24th year teaching at Gurnee Park District. As a teacher, she feels it is most inspiring to see the excitement of the children learning and achieving new things. Her goal for each child is to learn something new every day, and to work with parents to encourage a love for learning!

Image of Tricia Filippone Tricia Filippone Preschool Teacher
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Tricia Filippone

Preschool Teacher

Tricia Filippone joins Growing Tree Preschool with more than 10 years of preschool teaching experience. She looks forward to doing what she loves to do every day which is enriching a child’s life forever! Tricia is married and has two boys who love to play basketball. A fun fact about Tricia is that she grew up on a farm.

Image of Megan Gould Megan Gould Preschool Teacher
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Megan Gould

Preschool Teacher

This is Megan Gould’s 7th year teaching at Gurnee Park District. Megan brings previous preschool teaching experience, prior to raising her children. She has lived in Gurnee for almost 20 years and her youngest children attended preschool at Gurnee Park District. Megan loves seeing the light in children’s eyes as they learn and grow!

Image of Beth Hagen Beth Hagen Preschool Teacher
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Beth Hagen

Preschool Teacher

This is Beth Hagan’s 10th year teaching in a specific classroom at Growing Tree Preschool. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree, and has been home with her children in recent years. Beth looks forward to seeing the children as they grow throughout the year, and how they progress in their social and educational knowledge and skills. She loves seeing children’s interactions with books and their interest in the stories being told. Beth still reads to her children who once attended Growing Tree Preschool.

Image of Jamie Hamu Jamie Hamu Preschool Teacher
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Jamie Hamu

Preschool Teacher

This is Jaime Hamu’s 2nd year teaching with the Growing Tree Preschool at the Gurnee Park District. She brings 22 years of child care experience to the Growing Tree Preschool and a passion for teaching young children. Jaime loves how young children love unconditionally and are full of excitement and eager to learn. She creates a classroom setting full of warmth and nurturing as well as a great learning environment for the children. Jaime looks forward to getting to know the children and their families and watching the children learn and grow.

Image of Kim Kruse Kim Kruse Preschool Teacher
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Kim Kruse

Preschool Teacher

Kim Kruse is excited to continue her teaching career at Growing Tree Preschool. She earned a Master’s degree in Art Education and has both teaching and subbing experience in multiple grades. Kim has 3 boys who attended Growing Tree Preschool and has lived in Gurnee with her husband and sons for 10 years. She enjoys scrapbooking in her free time.

Image of Joni Mendell Joni Mendell Preschool Teacher
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Joni Mendell

Preschool Teacher

This is Joni Mendell’s 3rd year of teaching at Growing Tree Preschool and the CARE program. Joni brings with her ten years of preschool and child development experience. Teaching is Joni’s true passion in life and she experiences a great sense of purpose when helping children learn. Nothing makes Joni smile or laugh as much as her students do each day! Joni has lived in Gurnee for most of her life, and attended school in the local districts.

Image of Sheila Murphy Sheila Murphy Preschool Teacher
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Sheila Murphy

Preschool Teacher

Sheila Murphy begins her 15th year as a Growing Tree Preschool teacher and holds a bachelor’s degree. She has been a resident of Gurnee for almost 20 years. Her favorite thing about teaching preschool is watching the children grow socially and emotionally and guiding them to become confident and independent.

Image of Robin Pfenning Robin Pfenning Preschool Teacher
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Robin Pfenning

Preschool Teacher

This will be Robin Pfenning’s 20th year teaching at Growing Tree Preschool/Gurnee Park District. Robin has over 10 years of child care experience, and an Associates Degree. Her favorite thing about teaching preschool is interacting with the children. She loves their honesty and their interesting thoughts and ideas. Robin is most passionate about promoting confidence and developing social skills in the children. Most begin preschool apprehensive about leaving their parents and making new friends and progress to where they are totally comfortable and ready socially and academically to enter the next phase of their education.

Image of Lisa Prims Lisa Prims Preschool Teacher
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Lisa Prims

Preschool Teacher

Lisa Prims has taught preschool at Gurnee Park District for 12 years and holds a bachelor and master’s degree. Her favorite thing about teaching preschool is being given the opportunity to watch each child grow socially and academically as the year progresses. She enjoys working closely as a team to make each year fun and successful for each student. She is passionate about early childhood education because she is setting the foundation for future learning.

Image of Stacy Wachter Stacy Wachter Preschool Teacher
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Stacy Wachter

Preschool Teacher

Stacy Wachter has been a Growing Tree Preschool teacher for 15 years. Her favorite thing about teaching preschool is getting to know all of the children and their families, and learning how to serve their individual needs. Stacy is passionate about helping children see and learn about the world around them, helping them gain self-esteem and celebrating little victories along the way. Stacy attended the College of Lake County.