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Michelle Alanis, LPC, Early Connections Program Supervisor

Michelle is a Licensed Professional Counselor, and gateway approved Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant. Michelle has over 10 years of early childhood experience, with the last 7 years focused in direct service supporting teachers, families, children, and staff. As a Mental Health Consultant, Michelle has supported programs like Early Head Start, Head Start, and Prevention Initiative. Michelle is trained and has a strong passion for providing support around challenging behaviors, improving caregiver-child relationships, social emotional development and education, maternal mental health, strengthening calming strategies, staff wellness  and trauma informed care.

Michelle resides in DuPage County with her daughter. Michelle enjoys the warmer month’s and doing anything and everything outdoors, like hiking, kayaking, exploring new restaurants, and more! Michelle also loves  to paint, cook, read, and listen to live music!

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Bonnie Farmer, Lead Parent Educator

Bonnie is the Lead Parent Educator for Early Connections, joining the team in March 2020.  She has over 20 years of experience working in early childhood, mental health, education, community networking and outreach, training and advocacy. She has previously worked with the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and the DuPage Regional Office of Education. She enjoys working with children and families and supporting parents in their role as their child’s first and most important teacher.

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Jenny Umbright, Support Coordinator

Jenny Umbright is the Support Coordinator for Early Connections. She has a bachelor's degree in Communications. Having worked in recruitment advertising, she decided to take a break from her career to be a stay-at-home mom. In 2016, she was fortunate to be accepted to Naperville D203 as a Computer Support Associate.  She was able to grow in that position and enjoyed helping the students, parents, and teachers. She is now excited to take the knowledge she has to keep on learning & growing with the Early Connections Group.

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Diane Albrecht, Parent Educator

Diane Albrecht has had a variety of experiences working with children and families for the past 26 years. She has taught in a PFA program and has taught Kindergarten and First Grade. She has also had experience of being a parent educator for the DuPage Regional Office of Education. Diane earned a BA in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Studies with an early childhood special education endorsement. Diane is grateful for the opportunity to have the role of supporting and encouraging parents as they are their child’s first teachers.

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Jenny Bradley, Parent Educator

Jenny has worked in the early childhood education field for over 20 years both in the preschool classroom setting, and privately with families throughout various communities. She began at Early Connections in January of 2022 after working for both U-46 and West Aurora 129 school districts. She attended Colorado State University where she graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Family Studies with an emphasis in early childhood development. In September 2022 she will obtain a certificate of completion in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders from Postpartum Support International. By being a home visitor, Jenny is able to combine her love of the classroom and working with parents. She hopes to empower parents and caregivers to be their child’s first and most important teacher. She is excited to be a part of an incredible team of educators who share her passion for early childhood here in district 203. 

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Mary Gil (Marisa), Parent Educator

Mary Gil (Marisa) has over 10 years of experience working in the areas of early childhood. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology with specialization in biomedical sciences in Colombia, South America. After many years of working in the science field, she decided to change her professional career towards early childhood education. She began at Ann Reid in the bilingual program and subsequently joined the Early Connections program as one of the home visitors for Hispanic families. She continues with her education in the field of infant mental health with the purpose of facilitating the tools to maintain the wellbeing of the families that participate in the Early Connections program. 

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Lubna Hamid, Parent Educator

Lubna Hamid has been a Parent Educator with the Early Connections program at Ann Reid for 3 years.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. She has previously worked as a 3rd grade teacher and a Developmental Therapist. She has been a Parent Educator for 5 years and counting.  She loves working with families and watching children play and learn!  Lubna recognizes that a parent is a child’s first teacher and she loves working with families and seeing how families make connections with their child/ren. 

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Thais Veselik, Parent Educator

Thais Veselik has been a student, parent, and/or educator in Naperville School District #203 for the last 40 years. After earning her degree in Special Education from Benedictine University, she began her work in NCUSD #203 in 2004, in the capacity of special education teacher and assistant. Since December 2016, she has had the privilege of working as a parent educator/home visitor. This position combines her passion for education and supporting families.

 

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Lauren Wren, Parent Educator

Lauren Wren has 7 years of experience working with children and families in multiple capacities. She attended college at Illinois State University, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. She has been working with the Parents as Teachers program since 2018.