CENTRAL HYDE PARK

PRESCHOOL TEAM

INEZ COOPER - MENTOR TEACHER / ALTERNATE DIRECTOR

I am a mother of three, born and raised on the North side of Chicago. I love watching little minds at work! It’s very rewarding to be a part of children’s lives! I earned my National Childhood Development Associate credential in 2011. I owned and operated a Home Daycare for 15 years - It was a wonderful experience! I am still a kid at heart. I like to jump rope, play on swings, slide down slides and explore the environment around me - this is what drew me to Little Inspirations in June 2013. Little Inspirations offers the greatest way of learning -- through play, touching, observing and experiencing. Fine motor, gross motor, social, cognitive and creative thinking are all large parts of the learning process. Children are free become anything they want to be and it gives me great joy to be a part of their development.

ZAKIYA BROWN-LAVIGNE - TEACHER

Hello! My name is Zakiya. I graduated from Moraine Valley Community College with my Associates in Elementary Education. I am currently attending college online at GCU for my Bachelors of Science with a special education endorsement and a minor in psychology. I am a wife, student, caregiver, teacher, and smile-promoter. I’ve always had a passion for teaching developing minds new ways to navigate their environment. Since I was a child, I could always remember having to babysit my younger siblings and cousins and I truly enjoyed it. I grew up thinking I was going to be a psychologist; even though I loved to teach others new information, I wasn’t really sure if that was something I wanted to do. It wasn’t until I started working with special needs children that I started to fall in love with teaching. I learned so much from them. I volunteered at my local library during my high school years for the after-school program, along with volunteering for the special education program at my high school. I worked at Moraine Valley as a student aide in the children learning center for my remaining 3 semesters. I love to see how children grow and evolve to the world and environment around them. The endless encounters and opportunities for development and responsibility at a young age is what mainly attracted me to Little Inspirations. I love how much space is given for them to explore their curiosity. In my spare time when I am not working, I am reading, writing, watching movies or just spending quality time with my loved ones.

PORCHÉ BROWN - TEACHER

Hi! I’m so excited and grateful to be a part of Little Inspirations. I am currently attending Richard Daley College where I have received my Basic Certificate in Child Development--Preschool.  Now I’m working towards getting my Associate degree in Applied Science in Child Development. I’ve been passionate about Early Childhood Education ever since I was a child. I enjoy the dynamic and exciting opportunities that young children bring.  This career path truly feels like I’ve found what I was meant to do.  Most importantly, my son has made me strive for greatness as I am a role model for future generations.  I find children to be the most genuine and loving human beings and delight in my opportunities to learn with them all day, every day. I am grateful for a chance to work with the teachers, children, and families here at Little Inspirations; it’s like a dream come true!

MARCHAY GRAYS - TEACHER

My name is Marchay Grays. I was born on May 27th in Chicago, IL. I am extremely honored that I have the opportunity to nurture, encourage, and teach your child. I have always had a passion for Early Childhood Education because birth to age three is the peak for brain development. A child’s early stages not only matter, but they are the most critical in development. I have experience with ages 6 weeks to 6 years old. I began working with children ten years ago and decided to enroll in the Child Development program at Kennedy-King College. I earned my Associate’s Degree, with high honors, in Pre-School Education. I plan to continue my pursuit of my  Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Practice: Infant/Toddler at National Louis University. I am very passionate about Early Childhood Education. I am very patient. I believe that children should be treated with compassion, patience, and respect, regardless of the circumstances. I believe that diversity, social-emotional, and self-expression all play a huge role in a child’s development and tolerance. I am so excited about this new journey! I look forward to building positive relationships with you and your child:)

DELORES WILLIAMSON - MENTOR TEACHER / ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

Hello! I am a teacher in the PreK classroom. I am happily married to my husband of thirty-eight years, Odell, and we have two children named Eileen and Marcus.  I received my Bachelor’s Degree from Chicago State University, and attended Rosary College for my Montessori Diploma for ages 3-5. I chose to work with younger children because of the unique ways they have of expressing their wants and needs as they explore and learn. I appreciate the communication I have with the parents, peers and administration as we become involved in each child's development. I am very passionate about continuing to learn - just as the children are! I am happy to help fulfill the Vision and Mission of Little Inspirations.

MELINDA PAREDES - ASSISTANT TEACHER (EAGLE EXPLORERS)

Hi there! My name is Melinda Paredes. I am one of the newer additions to Little Inspirations. I currently work as an assistant teacher in the Busy Bees classroom. To expand a bit more on myself, I am currently a student at Olive Harvey College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago. I will soon be graduating in the Summer of 2019 with my Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Child Development and plan to pursue my BA in Elementary Education. One of the central reasons why I have chosen to work with children is because I absolutely love watching children grow/develop, especially from infancy/toddler ages up to the middle childhood stage. It’s extremely rewarding to be making a contribution to their success. It’s amazing to see and reflect on children we have formed relationships with as they continue to thrive while moving on from one stage to the next.  I feel that Little Inspirations will be a great experience to learn and grow myself as I work alongside the staff here and get more hands-on experience with children.  I am happy to be on board and look forward to working with the families and children here! In my spare time, I like to plan trips to travel, read, and listen to music! 

VELINA WALKER - SUPPORT TEACHER (EAGLE EXPLORERS / FLOAT)

Hi! My name is Velina Walker. I’m a mother of three. I’m currently in school to receive my Associate in Applied Science. I have over ten years of experience with children. While in the field of Early Childhood Education, I have learned that the most impressionable years are now. So, I adore being intentional about the love, care, and the attention that I give to children. It makes my heart smile to know that I’m able to instill education and love at the same time. I enjoy laughter and dancing with children. I am grateful to be a part of Little Inspirations, a place in which I can be an addition to helping the development of children be a fruitful experience!  In my spare time, I like to go to movies and museums.

VELINA WALKER - SUPPORT TEACHER (EAGLE EXPLORERS / FLOAT)

Hi! My name is Velina Walker. I’m a mother of three. I’m currently in school to receive my Associate in Applied Science. I have over ten years of experience with children. While in the field of Early Childhood Education, I have learned that the most impressionable years are now. So, I adore being intentional about the love, care, and the attention that I give to children. It makes my heart smile to know that I’m able to instill education and love at the same time. I enjoy laughter and dancing with children. I am grateful to be a part of Little Inspirations, a place in which I can be an addition to helping the development of children be a fruitful experience!  In my spare time, I like to go to movies and museums.

VELINA WALKER - SUPPORT TEACHER (EAGLE EXPLORERS / FLOAT)

Hi! My name is Velina Walker. I’m a mother of three. I’m currently in school to receive my Associate in Applied Science. I have over ten years of experience with children. While in the field of Early Childhood Education, I have learned that the most impressionable years are now. So, I adore being intentional about the love, care, and the attention that I give to children. It makes my heart smile to know that I’m able to instill education and love at the same time. I enjoy laughter and dancing with children. I am grateful to be a part of Little Inspirations, a place in which I can be an addition to helping the development of children be a fruitful experience!  In my spare time, I like to go to movies and museums.

VELINA WALKER - SUPPORT TEACHER (EAGLE EXPLORERS / FLOAT)

Hi! My name is Velina Walker. I’m a mother of three. I’m currently in school to receive my Associate in Applied Science. I have over ten years of experience with children. While in the field of Early Childhood Education, I have learned that the most impressionable years are now. So, I adore being intentional about the love, care, and the attention that I give to children. It makes my heart smile to know that I’m able to instill education and love at the same time. I enjoy laughter and dancing with children. I am grateful to be a part of Little Inspirations, a place in which I can be an addition to helping the development of children be a fruitful experience!  In my spare time, I like to go to movies and museums.

© 2016 Little Inspirations

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