Carolynn Abruzzo – Director
Carolynn Abruzzo has been in education for over 16 years. She graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. After teaching Math and Science in middle school for nine years, she left teaching to stay home with her children. As her children grew older, she became involved with the PTO as well as community events. She has experience teaching at the elementary level. She currently resides in Sugar Grove with her husband and their three children.
Cathy Kovach ~ Administrative Assistant/Music Teacher
Cathy Kovach has been a member of the KCCC family for 18 years! She studied Music Education at Illinois State University and specialized in violin. She is the mother of three boys and lives right in Kaneville. Her two younger boys attended KCCC in the Daycare and Preschool/Pre-K programs. Cathy’s favorite part about working at KCCC is its family feel! She loves the staff and children just as she does her own family and loves watching the children’s faces light up when they learn something new! A fun fact about Cathy is that she is a firefighter and an EMT-B. She also has a Beagle named Lucy!
Michelle Rissman ~ Lead Teacher
We have had the pleasure of having Michelle with KCCC for over 26 years! She grew up in Kaneville and currently resides there. After attending Kaneland High School, she studied Early Childhood Education at Waubonsee Community College. Michelle has earned a CDA (Child Development Associate) and is now Director qualified. While at WCC, she earned specialized certificates of achievement in Basic Nurse Assistant Training, Early Childhood Aide, and Infant and Toddler Care. Michelle’s words: “It has been such a wonderful experience to work at a loving and caring daycare center. I have been truly blessed to be a part of it and such an outstanding community.” The kids call her Shell, for short!
Cheri Ryndak ~ Lead Teacher
Cheri studied Early Childhood Education at Waubonsee Community College and continued her education at Northern Illinois University where she obtained her Elementary Education Degree. She loves to encourage learning through various methods that stimulate the students’ social, emotional, physical, and academic growth. As Cheri’s daughter, Grace, attended KCCC for two years, she has enjoyed being a member of the KCCC school board as well as the Parent Advisory Council. She and her family have a small farm in Waterman where they raise an array of animals and grow a variety of vegetables. When she isn’t immersed in play with her daughter she enjoys spending time with friends and family. She is looking forward to this school year and continuing her own education in early childhood.
Julie Knazur ~ Lead Teacher
After growing up in Lansing, IL and living in Highland, IN, Julie moved to Sugar Grove in 2005. She attended Illinois State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. Julie has always loved working with kids, and her passion lies in both raising her own kids and teaching your little ones! She has five children and says that her house is “crazy, busy, loud, and full of love.” Julie loves KCCC’s family feel and calls it her home away from home.
Jessica O’Donnell ~ Lead Teacher/Assistant Teacher
Jessica is currently a student a Waubonsee Community College studying Early Childhood Education. As a recent graduate from Kaneland High School, she has already gained some valuable experience through their early childhood vocational program which took place in their school daycare where she worked every day in between classes. She’s a natural! More than anything, “she loves kids and wants to make sure they are happy.” Jessica sees herself as a future leader and teacher at KCCC. We also see her as a natural teacher and great fit for KCCC. Whenever she gets the chance, you’ll find Jessica spending quality time with her family, including her parents, two brothers, and her Westie Terrier named Chewie, and friends.
Bri Gruber ~ Assistant Teacher
From Sugar Grove, Bri studied Journalism/Mass Communications at Waubonsee Community College. Bri came to KCCC after doing 10 years of childcare full time in her home and has been with us for two years! During her time in childcare, Bri has loved both watching and being a part of the growth and development of each individual child. Her favorite part about working at KCCC is the way that the staff and kids become like family. She has three boys who fill her home with beautiful chaos! A fun fact about Bri is that she has spent the last two years writing a book.
Diane Pierson ~ Lead Teacher/Assistant Teacher
Diane graduated from Kaneland High School and furthered her education at Waubonsee Community College, Northern Illinois University, and Aurora University, obtaining degrees in Elementary Education. She has been with KCCC for a little over two years! Prior to joining our staff, Diane taught at the elementary level for 38 years. She loves watching students create, explore, and learn, and says that their enthusiasm and sweet personalities continue to put a smile on her face each day. Diane is now working in the same classroom that she attended for sixth grade (when the community center was the Kaneville Grade School)! She was born and raised on a farm and loves gardening and long, country walks and bike rides. Diane also loves baking and cooking, and has collected over 100 cookbooks!
Natalie Barnhart ~ Assistant Teacher
Natalie has been with KCCC for almost two years while studying at Waubonsee Community College. She loves being able to work with the kids while learning new things every day. In the future, Natalie wants to become a special education teacher! In her free time, she enjoys many different activities including (but not limited to) crafting, cooking, baking, singing, landscaping with her dad, and bowling. She also enjoys spending time with her friends and family.
Jenny Wold ~ Lead Teacher/Assistant Teacher
Although Jenny is new to KCCC, she has been an Elburn resident for the past 20+ years! She obtained a degree in elementary education from Aurora University. Jenny has experience teaching both regular-ed and special-ed students at the kindergarten-grade school levels and after teaching at John Stewart Elementary (Kaneland) for nearly 12 years, she joins us at KCCC. Jenny’s oldest daughter attended KCCC 10 years ago and was taught by Ms. Michelle! Working at KCCC allows her to be a part of an amazing team that helped her little one grow and become kindergarten ready, and is so excited to be able to do the same for your little ones. When Jenny isn’t helping KCCC’s kids, she enjoys baking, cooking, and reading. She even has a Little Tree Library in her front yard!