The Co-Op Preschool believes a child's first school experience is an important one.  Our staff believes that children come first.  Our program is a play-based curriculum, creating an environment in which all children develop the academic, social, and emotional skills they need to be successful in school and beyond. Our extremely talented teachers implement the educational program of the school, with the guidance of the school director and the parent board.  

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Michelle Bauman


Michelle has been the Director of The Co-Op Preschool since 2016. She has her Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education and has been teaching since 1998. She held the position of Associate Director for the Triton College Toddler Program, and prior to that taught children ages 15 months-3 years old for ten years at Triton College. Before coming to the Co-Op, Michelle had taken some time off to raise her three daughters, the youngest of whom attended The Co-Op Preschool.

"My favorite part of teaching is seeing the growth in each child from the first day of school to the last."

Lisa Askin

Teacher - PreK & Parent Tot

This year, we welcome Lisa to the Co-Op!  Lisa has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Grand Canyon University and a masters degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University.  Lisa lives in Lombard with her husband and two daughters, ages 6 & 10, and their cat.  In order to stay home and raise her children, Lisa ran an in-home daycare for 6 years.  She is also no stranger to the Co-Op as her oldest daughter attended the Co-Op for 2 years.

"My favorite part of teaching is working with children and helping them develop a love of learning."

Wendy Ihms

Teacher - Little Learners & Young Explorers
Wendy has been teaching at the Co-Op since 2015. Wendy received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Elmhurst College and taught at Bryan Middle School in Elmhurst for 10 years. Wendy and her husband both grew up in Elmhurst and now live in Lombard with their three children.

"My favorite part of teaching is watching a concept that is talked about become a realization. When that connection is made that 1+1 really does equal 2 the excitement on their faces is priceless.” 

Sarah Stevenson

Teacher - Little Learners & Young Explorers

This is Sarah's fourth year teaching at The Co-Op Preschool. Sarah graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Elementary Education. She also received a masters degree in Elementary Reading Education and has her ESL endorsement. Sarah is married and has two daughters, and in her free time loves to read.

"I absolutely love teaching! I love seeing children excited to learn. My goal is to always make learning fun."

Robyn Pike

Aide - PreK

This is Robyn's first year as a teacher at the Co-Op, but she is likely a familiar face as she has a daughter who graduated from the Co-Op and a son who is currently enrolled.  Robyn earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Elmhurst College and has worked in both the non-profit sector and for her family's business.  Robyn lives in Lombard with her husband and two children.

"My favorite thing about teaching is watching how much children love to learn new things and how proud they are of their accomplishments."

Julie Rehnstrom

Aide - Tiny Tots

This is Julie's second year teaching at the Co-Op Preschool. Previously, she was an assistant preschool teacher at The Growing Place for five years.  Julie lives in Lombard with her husband and two sons.

"Of the many things I enjoy about teaching children, I love seeing their reactions when they conquer a new skill, watching them bond with their peers or watching their personalities grow throughout the year."