Meet Our Staff

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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, and has been with KCCC for five years.

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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!

Teaching Staff


Michelle Rissman ~ Lead Teacher

We have had the pleasure of having Michelle with KCCC for over 27 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.

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Jessica O’Donnell ~ Lead Teacher/Assistant Teacher

As a graduate from Kaneland High School, she gained 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.

Natalie Barnhart ~ Assistant Teacher

Natalie has been with KCCC for 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.