PEG DUNNE PAVELEC - OWNER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Little Inspirations explores and unites my passion for children, learning and life! As founder of Little Inspirations, the responsibility for top quality Child Care / Early Childhood Education is close to my heart. Fifteen years as a teacher and a love of little people inspired Little Inspirations’ inception as a school where the journey of learning begins in infancy, emphasizing real life experiences in a community environment that extends learning beyond the school and its day. A Master’s of Science in Educational Leadership from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, in New York prepared me to lead Little Inspirations from an educational standpoint. A Certificate of Entrepreneurship from City of Chicago Colleges in conjunction with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program guides me in keeping our organization solvent, sustainable and growing. Finally, motherhood of two amazing children adds to my ongoing daily education! I am extremely thankful for the support of our families and the dedication of our fabulous team in making Little Inspirations a wonderful learning community.
JHEANIQUA HARBIN-TATE - CENTRAL HYDE PARK SITE DIRECTOR
My name is Jheaniqua M. Harbin-Tate. I have a Master’s degree in Education with a concentration in Leadership & Advocacy from Erikson Institute. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. I chose early childhood education because children are our future. Children are the key to the future, and it’s up to us to help guide them to their purpose. I chose leadership because I wanted to help transform the school environment so that both students and teachers can flourish. Together we may give our children the roots to grow and the wings to fly.
When I am not working, I love to read, go to stand-up comedy shows, wine tastings, bike down Lake Shore Drive, snuggle with my bunny, or binge on a TV show.
IRIS BRANCH - EAST HYDE PARK SITE DIRECTOR
I am excited to be a member of the Little Inspirations Administration team. I am a mother of two and I revolve my world around them. Having experienced motherhood has opened my eyes to realize just how much of a lifelong passion I have always had for children. It thrills me to see a child smile. As an early childhood educator, my beliefs go beyond just educating children to also creating experiences that will last a lifetime.
I have over ten years of experience working with developmentally disabled children and adults in addition to teaching in early childhood. I received my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education in 2012 and just received my Bachelor’s Degree in Business (BSM). My vision for working at Little Inspirations is to enhance my skills as an Early Childhood Educator to positively impact children’s lives with my unique creativity. Some of my personal interests and hobbies include traveling, event planning, coordinating and decorating for parties, and just being a mom.
CECILIA HERNANDEZ - TEACHER
Hello, my name is Cecilia. I graduated from NIU with my Bachelor's in Health and Human Services in Rehabilitation Services with a minor in Family and Child Studies. I started babysitting when I was six years old. I always knew I wanted to do something in a field where I can help children; I just didn't know what my calling was until my undergraduate years. I worked at the NIU Campus Child Care Center as a teacher’s aide for three years while living in DeKalb. I knew then that teaching and guiding early-age children was what I wanted to do. Before child care, I worked for the Chicago White Sox as a babysitter for two seasons and would occasionally nanny when asked by the families. My favorite part about teaching children is that we are often learning from them. We learn to adapt, ways to teach, and ways to guide as teachers. Each child is growing and learning about themselves and their environment in different ways. It is our responsibility to aid them in just that. Positive reinforcement, refraining from using the words “no," “can't,” and “don't,” and showing them what they can do instead of what they shouldn't do are important when it comes to helping the child understand what is appropriate or an alternative choice to express themselves/play in a safe manner. My life is a little busy, but I make the best of my days. When I'm not teaching, you will find me managing at Party City. The times that I do find free time, I take advantage of it. I love spending time and catching up with my loved ones, eating ice cream, spoiling my Godson, watching Disney movies and sometimes fitting in a little traveling. I am excited to be a part of the Little Inspirations team and more excited to have the opportunity to be a part of your child’s lives.
KRYSTAL PHILLIPS - ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Education: Bachelor of Science Degree - Early Childhood Education Specialization in Child and Family Services from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale December 2012
Tell us something fun about yourself: I’m the youngest of two children (older sister) and I have two nephews and two nieces. I enjoy puzzles, playing web games, and binge-watching tv shows. An interesting fact about me is that I suffer from insomnia and can stay awake for hours, the most being 27 consecutively.
What do you love about teaching or early childhood? I love the children and watching them develop. I think it is wonderful to see how they learn things over time and how much their minds absorb. Creating lesson plans and cool activities that showcase what is being learned is a true testament that I am making a difference in children’s lives.
What’s your favorite area of play and why? Art and literacy because both are forms of expression. I believe myself to be someone with a very expressive personality, so I like to have something to show that represents who I am, and I think the same goes for children.