Our Staff

Kristin - Owner/Director

Acarath is a family-owned business. My mother opened Acarath in 1987, and officially retired in 2007. I have my bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University. Before I assumed an administrative role, I worked in almost every capacity at the school. I have Montessori credentials for 3-6 and 6-9-year-olds. I also hold a multitude of certifications ranging from commercial pool operation to professional food service. What I love about Acarath is the teaching moments – not only for the children, but for us as adults. We are never too old to learn new things!

My husband is a head swim coach for an area YMCA and is recognized as a swim coach by the Illinois Swimming Hall of Fame. I have two grown children – both attended Acarath (thanks to Miss Eileen for their early start). Loretta, my oldest lives in Tulsa OK and is a District Manager for Aldi. Abbie, my youngest lives here in the Chicago area and is an ICU nurse in a city hospital.

I enjoy spending time with my husband and four – yes four dogs! My most cherished time – hands down - is when my family is together.



Michelle - Administrator

I started working at Acarath in 2005 as a daycare assistant. Over the years I worked in all areas of the school. In 2022 I earned my bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois University and working on earning my MBA. I am also Montessori certified for 3–6-year-olds.

My husband is a veteran and a Purple Heart recipient. Together we have two beautiful girls. My oldest is an Acarath Alumni and my youngest will be starting at Acarath soon. We are grateful to all the dedicated staff for their hard work building a strong foundation to help in their growth.

When I am not at Acarath I enjoy spending time with my family. Any activity that leads us outdoors is where we prefer to be. My favorite thing about Acarath is the support. From the staff to the students, you can feel the love and support shared throughout the building.





Laine - Lead Montessori Teacher-Kindergarten/1st Grade

Hello, my name is Laine Kim. I started working at Acarath as the lead Pre-K/Kindergarten teacher in 1999. I am a teacher, a wife, and a mother of an amazing son, Josh. I have a Bachelor of Science in merchandising from Northern Illinois University and a minor in marketing. I received my Montessori certification in 1996 from the American Montessori Society. I am an avid soccer fan and I love cooking all types of cuisine. Dumplings are my favorite food to cook, eat, and share with friends. My teaching method is to teach every child as if they are my own.








Eileen - Lead Montessori Teacher - Preschool

Hello! My name is Miss Eileen, and I am a Montessori teacher at Acarath Montessori Center. I have been with Acarath Montessori since 1987. I have had the pleasure of working in almost every capacity at the school before becoming a head Montessori teacher in 2000. I have loved every year at Acarath and have met so many wonderful people throughout the years. One of the greatest feelings is getting to see the children I used to teach come back and visit me years later.
Some fun facts about me include my love for all sports and Shark Week! My favorite color is blue, and I absolutely love being near the water and the beach with my family. I have been married to my husband for over twenty years and have two beautiful daughters named Patricia and Madelyn.My favorite food is pizza, and anyone who knows me would tell you how afraid of spiders I am!

I have been with Acarath for so long and I could not imagine spending my time anywhere else.



Pam - Lead Montessori Teacher-Preschool

Hi, I am Ms.Pam. I am the multi age lead Montessori teacher at Acarath Montessori Center.WhileI have been happily apart of this wonderful school since 2002, it was working as an assistant for Ms. Eileen when I knew I wanted to become a Montessori teacher. Certified in 2008, I continued to assist Ms. Eileen and received invaluable training within her classroom until 2020. In September 2020, I was honored to open my own classroom serving student ages that range from 3 to 5 years.
I live in Schaumburg, in a multi-generational home with my mother, sister, daughter and myself. Family is important and I like to include those family principles of togetherness, belonging, and a fun environment into our classroom. For that, I am excited and look forward every year to getting to know my students and welcoming them to our school family.
A few of my favorite things are pizza, french fries,the color red, fall, and video games. Fun fact, I have a movie crew where we seejust about any movie, but our favorites are Marvel movies.


Ling - Lead Montessori Teacher-Preschool

Hello, my name is Ms. Ling and I have worked as a certified educator for more than three decades in different countries. I have experience teaching preschool and kindergarten. I have taughtChinese, English, and communication in different settings (middle school, language schools, and college adult classes).
I received myB.A., and teaching certificates in early 90s; myMaster of Education in 2002; and my Master of Speech Communication from SJSU in 2007.I received my Montessori certification in 2015.
I am also an author! Some of my published books are: Ten Little Puppies of Happy Island (Children’s book in English and Chinese); and Intercultural Communication Apprehension (ICA): International Students’ Perceptions.
I now live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. I am passionate about working with children. On September 1st, 2021, I took the opportunity to start my career at Acarath. I hope with my guidance, children will enjoy learning and reach their fullpotential.



Meslissa- Music Teacher

Hello, my name is Melissa and I have been the music teacher at Acarath since 2007. I earned mybachelor’s degree in music education from Illinois State University where I participated in the Honors Music Mentorship Program and graduated Cum Laude.  Since then,I have taught vocal and instrumental music, musical theater, and dance in both public and private schools. I have served as musical director, composer, arranger, and performer in community theater productions, music concerts, recitals, and church services. In addition, I conducted numerous pit orchestras and directed the youngest choirs of the Palatine Children's Chorus. I have been teaching private music lessons since 1991 and love teaching the children at Acarath!





Darci - Dance/Gymnastics Teacher

Hello everyone! My name is Darci Whalen and I have been teaching at Acarath since 2015. Gross motor activities are a huge passion of mine. Before Acarath, I began my career as a competitive ballet teacher at a dance academy in West Dundee. From there, I continued to teach dance and gymnastics at studios and park districts in the surrounding suburban areas. I absolutely adore working with the young students at Acarath and expanding their skills in the gym! My husband and I recently had our first daughter, Olivia, so when I am not at school, spending time with family is all that matters!






Stacie - Swim Teacher

Hi, my name is Stacie Campbell. I have been working at Acarath as the Head Swim Instructor since August of 2012. I have been in the aquatics profession since graduating from Ball State University with my Bachelors in marketing and a minor in aquatics. Currently, I have certifications as an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, Lifeguard Instructor and CPR Instructor. I am also a Certified Pool Operator. I also have experience as a USA Swimming Age-Group Coach.
In my free time I like spending time with family, volunteering with Royal Family Kids Camp and taking photos. I have always enjoyed teaching swim lessons; I love seeing the smiles on the faces of the children when they have learned a new skill and the love when swimming has become their favorite activity. Swimming is a lifesaving skill everyone, children, and adults, should learn in their lifetime. It makes me smile when I think of how many children and adults, I have taught to swim... a lot.







Kim - Cook

What I like best about Acarath is coming to work and seeing all the children. You never know what they are going to say, and they are so cute.








Connie - Art Teacher

My name is Connie Weng, “Miss Connie,” to my little artist friends. I have been passionate about all things art related my entire life. I enjoy painting, molding clay, coloring and especially drawing. I integrate math terms, art history, multi-media, problem solving and fun into the lessons I create.  I believethat fundamental skills such as learning to hold a pencil correctly area huge achievement for beginners. I enjoy helping children to achieve new levels of skill and confidence. During 2006 I was one of the founders of the “Get Smart with Art” program at Neubert ElementarySchool in Dist. 300, where my twin sons were attending. From 2008-2019, I taught K-5 art classes at schools in McHenry and North Kane Counties. I am thrilled to be part of such an energetic and dedicated teamhere at Acarath Montessori.  Let the creativity flow!


Hannah - Montessori Assisant

What I like best about Acarath is being able to watch and be a part of a child’s growth in life through education.








Najma - Montessori Assistant

What I like best about Acarath is seeing the children develop new skills. With the curriculum and activities required, students are learning new things and growing every day. I love being a part of such a passionate and caring team!






Pat - Montessori Assistant

What I like best about Acarath is the staff, the children, and their families. There is nothing better than seeing a child’s face when they finally master a work or concept. Watching the children working and playing together, or having a child run to you before they go home and give you a hug.