Meet the Staff
Ms.Katie is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Ms.Katie has worked within the early childhood field for the last 15 years with children between the ages of 6 months to 12 years. Her passion in working within early childhood is the fulfillment it gives to enlighten little minds and see the growth and development happen every day. Ms.Katie lives in the Chicago area and enjoys spending time with friends and family.
Christine Kapusta joined NFCNS in 2003 and teaches 2- and 4-year-olds. Mrs. Kapusta earned a B.A. in Speech Communications from Miami University. She worked as a child care provider for the same North Shore Family for 17 years, and returned to school for additional coursework in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Kapusta resides in Skokie with her wife, Theresa, their daughter, Dorothy, and their dog, Tootsie.
Mrs. Bacon is a graduate of National-Louis University with a Master’s Degree in Education, and an undergraduate degree in Child Development from Northern Illinois University. Mrs. Bacon has preschool teaching experience, clinical experience through the Child Life Department of Lutheran General Children’s Hospital, and has been a nanny for over 10 years. Mrs. Bacon lives in Chicago with her husband, daughter Penny, and cat and when not in the classroom she can be found taking walks with her daughter, reading and working out.
Mrs. Pearlstein graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Learning Disabilities from Carthage College. She taught preschool in Highland Park and Deerfield for 12 years, before joining Northfield Community Nursery School team in 2013. Mrs. Pearlstein currently lives in Deerfield with her husband, the youngest of their three children, and with the newest member of the family, a puppy. In addition to her love of teaching, she enjoys baking, reading, and the outdoors.
Mrs. Miyakawa has both a Master’s in Education and a Psychology degree from Eastern Illinois University. She has many years of experience teaching children of all ages but truly delights in helping plant the seeds of curiosity and lifelong learning in preschoolers. Mrs. Miyakawa occasionally teaches nature programs at the Chicago Botanic Garden has also acted as a consultant for various preschool programs over the years. She lives in Evanston with her husband and puppy, has two grown sons and a new grandson! Mrs. Miyakawa loves science, art, and nature and enjoys hiking, working on creative projects and diving into a good book.
Mrs. Doyle earned her Psychology degree from Illinois State University and spent several years serving on the local PTO Board and actively involved in her children’s schools before joining NFCNS in 2009. Mrs. Doyle lives in Northbrook where she enjoys gardening and spending time with her family.
Alison Mell is a long time Northfield resident, and joined the NCNS team as our resident cooking instructor back in 2017. She is a certified mushroom specialist for the midwest and is passionate about incorporating nature based elements into her recipes as well as the classroom. She previously taught at Center on Deafness in Northbrook in American Sign Language (ASL) as well as Wildwood Nature Center in Park Ridge. When the school year comes to an end she can be found experimenting with her garden, trekking in different states in pursuit of new mushroom genera, or hanging with her grandma and two sons (her crew) at the Chicago Botanic Garden
Sheryl Horowitz-Rosenfeld, Assistant Teacher in the 4-Day 3s class, joined NFCNS in 2020. She is a life-long resident of Wilmette, where she raised her three children, and is a graduate of New Trier High School. She began her preschool career as an Assistant Teacher for the Wilmette Park District preschool, and also worked as a classroom aide for the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association. She combines teaching with a career as a CAbi Fashion Consultant, and loves to cook, craft and read
Jennifer Eschel Forrest
Jennifer Eschel Forrest is a graduate of Concordia University with a Master’s in Education, Curriculum & Instruction. Her undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education with University Honors from Northern Illinois University. She has over 14 years teaching experience in the classroom with preschoolers through 8th graders across all curriculum areas. She has taught in the northwest and north shore suburbs and been a tenured 1st and 2nd grade teacher. Ms.Forrest lives in Glenview with her twin sons and pup. She loves nature, healthy living, and spending time with her family.
Alison Basofin, Music Specialist, joined NFCNS in 2014. After earning a degree in psychology from the University of Michigan, Ms. Basofin began performing regularly as a singer/songwriter in New York City’s well-known venues. She then moved to Chicago to continue her musical pursuits while embarking on a career in arts administration. Since 2012, she has been singing and performing daily…for her daughter and son! Ms. Basofin’s goal is to bring the joy she feels playing music for her children to the students of NFCNS. She lives in Northfield and enjoys knitting and taking long walks around the neighborhood with her husband, children and dog.