Ms. Shawna, Interim Not For Profit Director
Shawna has been with Mulberry School since 2016. In February 2021, she stepped into the role of Interim Not For Profit Director. Prior to fulfilling the Director role, Shawna worked as Administrative Assistant and Bookkeeper for Mulberry School.
In her free time, she is a avid Dallas Cowboys and Illini basketball fan! Her hobbies include spending time with her husband; David and two daughters; Tycee & Sabree, traveling, shopping, and playing with their rescue animals.
Ms. Colette, Preschool Teacher & Academic Coordinator
Colette has been with Mulberry School since 2000. She teaches 4K preschool and enjoys getting her students ready for Kindergarten. In 2002, Colette was a Girl Scout Teacher of the Year Nominee. Colette is a graduate of Illinois State University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. After school and during the summer Colette works at Dr. Burgess’ Dental Office. She is a big sports fan, loving the Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Cardinals.
In her spare time, Colette enjoys spending time with her family and friends, riding her bike, working around the house, Zumba, and traveling.
Ms. Zarina, First/ Second/ Third Grade Teacher
Zarina has been with Mulberry School since 2016. Zarina holds a degree in Elementary Education from Illinois State, with endorsements in two sciences, language arts, and social studies. Before earning her education degree, Zarina received an M.A. in Literature and Creative Writing, also from ISU, and spent several years teaching at Illinois Wesleyan. Since becoming a licensed teacher, she has worked in local school districts as a special education paraprofessional, a substitute teacher, and a long-term leave replacement teacher. She is also an award-winning writer, with two honors from the Illinois Arts Council, and is a children’s media reviewer for Parents’ Choice Foundation.
Outside of school, Zarina enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering for her children’s music and dance activities. She loves reading, writing, traveling, and cooking, but nurturing children brings her the greatest joy.
Ms. Lilly, Preschool Teacher
Lilly has been with Mulberry School since 2019. Lilly received her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education this spring from Illinois State University. Although she has just began her teaching career her time at Mulberry started as a teaching assistant. In Lilly’s free time she enjoys traveling, singing, painting and being with family and friends.
Ms. Kristen, Junior Kindergarten/ Kindergarten Teacher
Kristen is thrilled to join the Mulberry family this 2020-2021 school year! She teaches the full day Jr.K/K class and is dedicated to creating a nurturing classroom environment that fosters creativity, problem solving, imagination and a love for learning. Kristen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology and a Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Outside of school, Kristen enjoys spending time with her husband Barry and two daughters (Hannah and Lillian). She enjoys reading, taking fun weekend trips with her family, hiking, biking and watching her girls’ many activities. Kristen is so excited to share her passion for teaching with her Jr.K/K class this year!
Ms. Sharon, Preschool Teacher
Sharon has been with Mulberry School since 2017. Sharon has a degree in Elementary Education from Illinois Benedictine University.
She enjoys spending time with her family (husband: Brian and 2 children, Austin and Emma). In her free time she enjoys being outdoors, hiking, gardening, and hanging out with family and friends. Sharon loves to travel and is a life long Cubs fan!
Ms. Carolina, Spanish Teacher
Ms. Carolina is our Spanish teacher. She is from Costa Rica and has lived in Illinois for six years. She studied Fine Arts at the University of Costa Rica and taught at a number of schools there. She has shown her artwork in the United States and Costa Rica. She loves teaching children and believes it is very important to study a second language, especially in a fun way. She uses music and creative activities in her language classes. She also teaches at Illinois Wesleyan University’s Language School for Kids.
Ms. Karen, Art Teacher
Ms. Karen has been with Mulberry School since 2017. She is thrilled to be teaching art on Wednesdays to all Mulberry students! She has been teaching art for 9 years, including time with Unit 5 Schools and Chicago Public Schools. She received her Bachelors in Art Education from Illinois State, and Masters from University of Florida. She loves how art teaches and celebrates creativity, individuality, appreciation for others and appreciation for beauty. She is also active with the Illinois Art Education Association and frequently presents at the state-wide conferences. Karen lives with her two young boys, one of which is a Mulberry student, and her husband, who is also an artist. She enjoys riding her bike, knitting, reading, music, and of course making art!
Ms. Angella, Mini Meerkats Teacher
Angella has been with Mulberry School since 2019. I have 10 years of teaching experience in Unit 5, primarily in Kindergarten and 1st Grade. I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and passion for teaching while helping our Mini-Meerkats learn and grow.
Ms. Elizabeth, Administrative Assistant
Elizabeth is excited to join the Mulberry family this 2020-2021 school year. She has been a parent at Mulberry School since 2018. Elizabeth earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Illinois State University.
Outside of school, Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her husband, Nick and son, Elijah. She enjoys reading, art, traveling and spending time with her dogs.