Charleston Community Early Learning Center is licensed by the State of Illinois. All staff are required to complete the following trainings upon hiring: First Aid/CPR for Infants, Toddlers and Adults with AED and Epi Pen training included; SIDS and Shaken Baby Training; Off-the-Shelf Curriculum; Food Handlers; and Mandated Reporter.
Karen Pine – Executive Director
Karen celebrated her 40th anniversary with the Center in 2014. She is currently the Executive Director but has held many positions during her tenure. She likes working with the children, families, and staff – seeing the children change and grow, and watching the staff develop new ideas and skills. She especially likes the variety of her work. Karen holds an Associate’s Degree in Child Care from Lake Land College as well as a Director Level 1, Early Childhood Education Level 1 and Early Childhood Level 4 Credentials.
Tina Kumpf – Assistant Director
Tina joined the CCELC staff in September of 2019 and is excited to take the next step in her career after being in a teaching position for almost 25 years. She embraces the opportunity to watch young children grow and learn every day and enjoys the “random hugs from little ones” she receives. Tina earned an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Ivy Tech Community College in Terre Haute, Indiana. She also holds Director Level 1, Early Childhood Education Level 4 and Infant/Toddler Level 4 Credentials.
Marcia – Nursery
Marcia joined the CCELC staff in the late summer of 2016 and cares for the Center’s youngest children in the Nursery. Marcia enjoys the nursery because “working in the nursery is like a puzzle. Each day is different.” Watching each and every little person grow and develop at their own pace makes the nursery a special experience. Marcia has an Associate’s Degree in Child Development in addition to Early Childhood Education Level 4 and Infant/Toddler Level 2 Credentials.
Michelle – Nursery
Michelle began caring for children in the Nursery in February 2019. For Michelle, each day in the Nursery is a new discovery, whether it’s a new born lifting his or her head, looking around or a child taking their 1st steps. The Nursery is a special age to work with because “with each new discovery you just want to cheer them on and be so happy for them.” Michelle has an Associate’s Degree in Childhood from Lakeland College as well as Early Childhood Education Level 4 and Infant/Toddler Level 2 Credentials.
Andrea – Toddler Room
Andrea has been a teacher at the Center since March 2012. She currently is a co-teacher in the Center’s Toddler Room. Her favorite part of working with the toddlers is “seeing how fast their development grows and how they begin to express their own personalities and quirks.” She notes that, though the children are in the toddler room for the shortest amount of time, the difference between the 15-month-old children and 2-year-old children is vast. Andrea has completed some college work toward a degree in Early Childhood Education at Lake Land College.
Cierra – Toddler Room
Cierra joined the CCELC staff in 2018. She likes the social and emotional growth she observes in the children as well as the “wonderful staff she can learn and grow with.” Cierra believes the toddler classroom is special because so much growth occurs during a child’s time at the toddler age. Cierra attended Eastern Illinois University and studied Family Services through the Family and Consumer Sciences Department.
Dailyn – 2-Year-Old Room
Dailyn joined the CCELC staff in 2019. She has worked in several classrooms and is now a co-teacher in the 2-Year-Old Room. Dailyn appreciates gaining new teaching experiences. She especially enjoys working with the 2-Year-Olds because they are “their own personalities that continue to grew everyday.” Dailyn earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Services from Eastern Illinois University.
Terri – 2-Year-Old Room
Terri has been a teacher at CCELC for over 25 years. She is currently a co-teacher in the 2-Year-Old Room. She enjoys being able to watch and see the children grow and knowing that she has a part in their development. “2-year-olds are very interested in everything at that age,” she said. “It’s challenging but rewarding.” Terri holds an Early Childhood Education Level 1 Credential.
Bryona – 2-Year-Old Room
Bryona joined the CCELC team in 2020. She is certified in Early Childhood Education Level 1. She likes helping the 2-year-old children grow and learn. Bryona notes, “Everyone calls it the ‘terrible twos’ but really it is just their rough patch and also their most sensitive learning point.” She finds teaching the Two’s very satisfying. Bryona holds an Early Childhood Education Level 1 Tier 1 Credential.
Judy – Pre-School I
Judy joined the staff in 2015 and has worked in several classrooms at the Center. She brought 27 years of experience with her. She enjoys working with the children and the other staff at the Center and likes the fact that she can work with a variety of age groups. For her, she enjoys seeing the young children express their emotions in so many different ways. “They are beginning to show how they are becoming independent.” Judy holds an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Care and Education as well as an Early Childhood Education Level 4 Credential.
Jessica – Pre-K
Jessica has been a teacher at the Center for over 10 years and currently plays a major role in the children’s transition to kindergarten as the teacher in the Pre-K room. She likes to sit and talk to the children and hear about their views on various subjects. “The kids are very curious and outspoken at this age,” she said. Jessica loves working with children and being there to help in their growth makes her job very fulfilling. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences from Eastern Illinois University and an Early Childhood Education Level 4 Credential.
Amara – Pre-School II/School-Age
Amara has worked at the Center as a part-time teacher since 2013 and became a full-time teacher in Fall 2018. She provides care to the PSII and school-age children. Amara enjoys watching children learn, grow and make new connections. “Every day is different from the last.” She believes pre-school students are special because they are coming into their individual personalities and interests which makes experiences in the classroom fun but unpredictable. The school-age children keep her learning things old and new from their perspective and show her the importance of thinking outside of the box every single day. Amara is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences.
Makayla – School-Age
Makayla joined the CCELC staff in 2020. She is a graduate of Saint Joseph-Ogden High School and attends Eastern Illinois University. Mikayla states the kids and the staff at CCELC are amazing. She loves to watch the kids learn and grow through their time at the Center. She feels working with school-age children is special because “they are everything in one – crazy but calm, sweet but will also tell you the truth. They are so smart and amazing!” Makayla holds an Early Childhood Education Level 1 Tier 1 Credential.
Sadie – Cook
Sadie joined the staff at CCELC in October 2019. She loves getting to know all the students and ensuring they are offered the best meals possible. She notes each class is just as funny, smart, and polite as the next. She has no favorites as she is friends with all the students. Sadie is a Paris High School alumnus.