Our Staff

Train up a child in the way that he should go;
and when he is old he will not depart from it” – Proverbs 22:6

Experienced, caring and dedicated professionals, our teachers have been selected specifically to reflect our goal of providing the very best early childhood care and education experience for every child in our program. All of our staff meet or exceed state regulations for early childhood care and education providers. In addition, all staff expand and enhance their professional skills through continuing education on a yearly basis.

Infant and Child CPR-certified staff are in every classroom! Every month each classroom conducts safety drills to practice evacuation of the building in case of an emergency (i.e. Fire). Tornado/Severe Weather drills are held twice a year.  In the case of inclement weather, procedures are in place and are posted.

Doris Holden

Director

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Miss Doris joined the Growing Place team as our Director in the 2020-21 school year.  She has been working with children and families for over 25 years as an elementary school teacher, preschool teacher and a center director.  Miss Doris has a Bachelor of Arts Degree and is so excited to be a part of our school!  She loves spending time with her son, daugher-in-law and her two grandchildren.

Laurie Crackel

Assistant Director/Lead Pre-K Teacher

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Miss Laurie joined The Growing Place Preschool as Assistant Director 15 years ago when her children were students here and she has been teaching for a total of 17 years.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree and decided to pursue her love of working with young children by continuing her studies in Early Childhood Education.  Miss Laurie says that being a preschool teacher makes her heart happy because she loves to discover the qualities that make each child unique and special!  She lives in Lombard with her husband Brian, their children Jack and Kendall, and their dog Wrigley.

Debbie Celio

Financial Manager/Pre-K Teacher/ Three Year Old Teacher

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Miss Debbie has been with The Growing Place Preschool for 13 years and her love of our preschool began when her children attended here.  Miss Debbie has a Bachelor's of Science degree and says that being a preschool teacher makes her smile when the kids share funny stories about their families.  She lives in Villa Park with her husband Tony and her children Tyler and Dani.  They have three dogs named Beau, Reagan, and Cody.

Suzy Weisshaar

Pre-K Assistant Teacher

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Miss Suzy joined The Growing Place this year as an assistant teacher in our Pre-K program.  She has a Bachelor's degree from the University of Iowa and has been teaching preschool for 12 years.  Miss Suzy says being a preschool teacher makes her smile when she sees a child master a new skill.  She lives in Lombard with her husband Bill and their corgi, Dexter.  She loves spending time with her three children Sarah, Alex and Jake.

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Sue Roucka

Three Year Old Assistant Teacher

Miss Sue joined The Growing Place Preschool 9 years ago and has a Bachelor of Arts degree.  She says that being a preschool teacher makes her smile when the kids come into the classroom at the beginning of each day.  Miss Sue lives in Villa Park with her husband Mark and her children Jacob, Grace and Josh.  The family is completed by their 3 dogs Payton, Cameron and Mitchell.

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Pat Graczyk

Three Year Old Assistant Teacher

Mrs. Graczyk started teaching at The Growing Place Preschool 43 years ago when her daughter was a student.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree and has been teaching for over 50 years.  Mrs. Graczyk says that she loves being a preschool teacher because she enjoys interacting with the children.  She lives in Carol Stream with her husband Alan and she loves spending time with her daughter Julianne, her son-in-law Matt and her grandsons Peter and Mitchell.

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Erin Blain

Two Year Old Lead Teacher

Miss Erin has joined our preschool this year as our Two Year Old Lead Teacher.  She has degrees in both Speech Pathology and Early Childhood Special Education.  In addition to teaching, Miss Erin has also been a developmental therapist for Early Intervention.  Being a preschool teacher makes her smile when the children use their imagination and show creativity while exploring the classroom.  She loves listening to their stories as they play.  Miss Erin lives in Villa Park with her husband, their 4 children, 2 cats and dog.

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Connie Horwitz

Two Year Old Assistant Teacher

Miss Connie first came to our school as a parent when her two sons were in preschool here.  She returned to our school 6 years ago and joined our teaching staff.  Miss Connie says that being a preschool teacher makes her smile because she loves when the children tell her about their life and family.  She lives in Lombard with her sons Brendan and Aidan and their two dogs Shelby and Raven.

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Diane Horvath

Two Year Old Assistant Teacher

Miss Diane first experienced our school as a grandparent and now has joined our team as an assistant teacher.  She has been teaching and working with children for over 21 years.  Miss Diane says that being a preschool teacher makes her smile because she loves seeing the children get excited when they make something.  She lives in Lombard with her husband Dan and she loves spending time with her 4 children and 12 grandchildren.