Jennifer Zielinski joins us next week as our new Director of Enrollment. Jennifer uses she/her pronouns. Jennifer comes to us with over 10 years experience working in Enrollment Management at the Chicago Waldorf School. She and her husband currently reside in Rogers Park with their 3 boys and Chi-Weenie named Mimi. Her deep commitment to Waldorf education is reflected in her professional development, having completed the Foundation Year at Arcturus Rudolf Steiner Program, as well as having spent a year studying Educational Support with experts at the Association for Healing Education. In July of 2014, she attended the National S.E.E.D. (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) Project training to become a S.E.E.D. facilitator and has been leading sessions ever since. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago and is excited to be back in the neighborhood. Many thanks to Jenifer Brenner, our interim admissions coordinator, who has been building relationships all winter and getting us organized as we head into enrollment season.
Kimberly George joins us this week as Operations Coordinator. Kimberly uses she/her pronouns. She will take over the front desk and phones and provide front office support, including interacting with visitors, students, and parents, as well as providing administrative support for fundraising and admissions. Kimberly joins us from the Chicago Youth Center’s Sidney Epstein Center and previously spent 20 years at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago. She describes herself as a student in the study of “Growth Mindset,” and we are excited to add her to our Admin team. Kimberly’s arrival will allow Sophie Baumgartner to focus on supporting the administrative side of our teaching, educational, and community programs, including her great work in planning and coordinating festivals.
Beginning this week, Guo Ying, a college exchange student from China, is visiting Urban Prairie to learn about Education and Culture in the U.S. If you see our special visitor in or around the school please give a warm welcome to Guo. Guo uses she/her pronouns and found us through a program titled The Foundation for Global Education. Guo Ying is excited to learn all she can across the many age groups we serve and will be visiting classes spanning the grades and be visiting for four weeks.
We are pleased to announce that traveling eurythmist Mark Ebersole will be teaching a six week block of Eurythmy to all students, from Early Childhood through Grade 8 from February 24 to April 3. Mark uses he/him pronouns. Mark has fine-tuned the art of teaching Eurythmy in traveling blocks and comes highly recommended from the many schools he has worked with. He is also a trained Therapeutic Eurythmist and may potentially be able to offer private pay sessions to individuals during his time at Urban Prairie.
Also, you may have missed the introduction of our aftercare person, Myra Kalaw. Myra uses she/ her pronouns. She spent two years teaching EFL to grade-school students in Taiwan. Prior to this, she has also worked as a Math, English & Biology tutor for Chicago City Colleges & Chicago Public Schools. She received her formal education at Columbia College Chicago where she took extensive classes in Poetry, Papermaking, Bookbinding & Letterpress Printing. In her free time, she enjoys being in the great outdoors and doing restoration work for the local forest preserves.