Our Staff

Our professional staff loves learning and passing that love and excitement to the children.

Corrina Milbrandt

Preschool Director

Corrina’s son was diagnosed with autism in 2004. She spent years researching interventions, absorbing knowledge, attending therapy sessions, trainings, IEP meetings, and helping other families cope with having a child with a disability.

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She earned her degree in Early Childhood Education in 2011, her CDA Credential in 2018, and obtained both her Level 4 ECE credential and Level 1 Illinois Director’s Credential from National Louis University in 2022. 

Autism has since shaped her attention on just how passionately she works, advocating strongly for the families and the young children in her care. 

Her son has deeply inspired her work. She hopes that her own experiences help create a philosophy behind all of her future motives in teaching young children. 

Corrina’s specialties include the D.I.R Floor Time Model, writing social stories, P.E.C.S, and utilizing visual supports and strategies in the home and school environment, helping to improve communication, social interactions, behavior management, and sensory processing. 

She has an extensive amount of knowledge in serving parents over the last 20 years in understanding their child’s rights and the IEP processes.

In addition, she has provided support, training, and consultation services to families, community colleges, support groups, church organizations, early childhood professional development organizations, hospital staff, and national park and recreation organizations; all relating to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Corrina resides in Elgin with her husband and 2 adult children. In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, being outdoors, and cheering on her daughter doing college gymnastics!




Skole Director since 2017

Teachers

Our staff is dedicated to your child's success

Michelle Leisten

Two's Teacher

My name is Michelle Leisten and I am so excited to be the 2’s teacher this year. I have a degree in Elementary Education from Northeastern IL University. I have worked in daycare settings and taught Kindergarten for 6 years in the Archdiocese of Chicago. I stayed home with my own 3 children before working as a nanny for a local teacher and her family for 9 years. 

I grew up on the North side of Chicago. My husband and I raised our family in Arlington Heights. We have 3 children, 1 girl and 2 boys, who are attending Universities out of state. We are recent empty nesters! I enjoy spending time with family and friends, baking, scrapbooking, traveling, reading, and listening to music.

Alli Huddleston

Three's Teacher

​Hello everyone, my name is Alli Huddleston, also known as Miss Alli, the Three’s teacher here at Salem! I started teaching in 2020 and came to Salem in 2023. I graduated with my Associates of Arts degree in 2021 and will be continuing my education this fall. I spent my high school and college years nannying and teaching toddler classes for the McHenry Park District. I have always had a passion for teaching little minds and watching them grow! When I am not at work I love to spend time with family and friends, especially my sweet little nephew. I enjoy being outside, DIY projects, and reading. I am looking forward to fun-filled and memorable years here with the Salem families!

Anne Laudont

Fours/Pre-K Teacher

Hello, I’m Anne Laudont. I’m a recent graduate of the Early Childhood Education teacher and director from McHenry County College.  I graduated back in 2004 with my Bachelor’s in Psychology from Columbia College. I have 2 boys, Kyle (26) and Leo, who will be 5 in September. I have been a Cosmetologist for 26 years,  but I always knew my heart was somewhere else. 

 

When I took Leo to preschool,  I had that “A’Ha” moment and knew I wanted to be a preschool teacher.  I finally found my passion,  teaching little ones. 

 

In life, we are always learning, and every moment is a teachable one, Kids want to learn and know everything. I’m looking forward to helping your child grow cognitively, socially, and emotionally. 

I like to be outside with my family as much as possible, boating and camping. As a highlight, I ran the Chicago marathon back in 2013.

Melanie Chacon

Assistant Teacher

Melanie has been at our preschool since 2019. She has had the pleasure of working with every age group and is so excited to be here for another school year!

When not going over homework she is either reading or cooking. Melanie also loves to spend time with her dog and enjoys traveling. 

Fun fact: She has been to 10 different countries and is hoping to make it more this upcoming year!

Kaylee Mueller

Junior Kindergarten Teacher

My name is Miss. Kaylee. I am currently finishing my Early Childhood Education Bachelor’s degree. I am always looking for new ideas from other teachers and readings that I can implement in my teachings. 

 

My goal is to help children grow and thrive under my care in a fun and caring way. I grew up in a home daycare and began helping my mom with the other children at a young age. From a very young age, I knew my passion was to work with young children. Therefore, I started volunteering in a church preschool at the age of 11, and later on, becoming an assistant teacher and a lead teacher at the age of 19.

When I am not teaching I enjoy going on long hikes, spending time with my family, and cooking delicious meals. 

Paige Wilkins

Assistant Teacher

Paige grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Palatine, Illinois where she attended William Fremd High School. She graduated from Ferris State University with her bachelor’s degree in sociology and psychology.

 

Paige now resides in Barrington with her family. She is looking forward to another year at Salem this fall as an assistant teacher, along with her daughter Ivy who will be attending our Pre-K program.

Carol Kenneally

Music Teacher

Carol joined the Salem staff in 2018 to teach Music & Movement to all classes. For the last 2 years she has also enjoyed the privilege of encouraging the love of learning in each child. As an assistant teacher in the 3s classroom, Carol has been helping preschoolers grow in their natural love of music & movement in the Chicago area, since 1998. 

 

She has an Elementary Education degree from Northern Illinois University, and formerly taught Kindergarten and 4th grade. 

Carol & her husband are empty nesters now and like to get out “glamping” as much as possible! 

Michaelene Dagrizikos

Chef

A classically trained Chef, Michaelene holds a bunch of experience in the culinary world. Working in Las Vegas, in chef-driven Restaurants elevated her skill to the ranks of Executive Chef. 

 

Growing up in her household, meals were always a special time together. Everything was homemade from bread to dessert. Food always been her passion. That magical feeling of creating something from nothing.

 

Born and raised in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. Michaelene has two children with her husband Peter. She is very involved in her church. Michaelene is a youth group leader and attends women’s Bible study regularly.

Lindsay Piotter

Yoga Instructor

I’ve always deeply valued movement and welcoming in a sense of playfulness to everyday life. When I was introduced to yoga, it checked both of those boxes for me while also adding a box that I didn’t know that I needed: Mindfulness. 

 

I received a 200-hour yoga teacher certification in 2020 and began teaching privately almost immediately. 

 

Within my 3 years of experience, it has become evident that yoga truly can be for everybody. I reside in Wheaton with my husband and our 2 cats. In my free time, you’ll find me studying to become a Birth Doula, gardening, and planning my next adventure.

Dawn Kraft

Assistant Teacher

Hi! I’m Mrs. Kraft! I’ve been working with children for the past 32 years at Salem. During my time at SMP, I’ve held many different roles. Lead teacher, Art Smart program founder, cooking with kids, and this year I’m very much looking forward to assisting our wonderful staff in the classroom! 

 

I absolutely love working with kids. It brings me so much joy to see a child grow and develop from the first day of school to the last.

I am an artist by trade and when I’m not in school I love creating in my studio, enjoying the outdoors and spending time with my grandson’s Henry (6) and Luke (3).

SKole

Well-Trained Staff

All of our staff are fully qualified, very experienced, and extremely dedicated to their specific roles. All of our educators have degrees in early childhood education.

Our core programs