Leadership

Erica

Erica Koegel

Executive Director

My journey with KLA Schools began in 2013 as the School Principal of the Plainfield location. I am now the Executive Director for all three locations Naperville, Naperville West, and Plainfield, to support the School Principals and team since 2021. I see the children as competent individuals capable of learning through meaningful experiences, thought-provoking, and in-depth, real-life investigations.

Children are curious, and according to Carl Saga, "Every kid starts out a natural scientist." The Reggio Emilia Philosophy allows children to problem solve, think critically, and develop self-confidence. I believe that parents are the most important teachers in a child's life. As educators, we partner with parents and encourage families to be involved in our School.

K Hall

Krystal Hall

Director of Admissions

I am Krystal Hall, the Director of Admissions, and I'm excited to welcome you. Since graduating from Aurora University in 2013 with a degree in Elementary Education, I've devoted my career to early childhood education in various roles, including teaching and leadership.

I am passionate about creating inclusive learning environments and building strong community ties. Living in Aurora with my three children, I look forward to supporting our families and exploring diverse culinary experiences together.

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Kimberly Hernandez

Kimberly Hernandez

Admissions and Events Coordinator

Hello, I am Kimberly, and I have been on the KLA team since 2018. I formally taught in the class of 3sB and 4sA, and I have truly loved every minute of it. I am now a part of the leadership team for all three schools as the admissions and event coordinator.I believe that a child’s life is similar to a piece of paper, meaning every person that comes into their life leaves a special mark. I chose Early Childhood Education so that I could leave a positive mark on every one of my students' lives.In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family. I have been married to my husband, Ryan, since June 2021. We welcomed our first child, Blake, in July 2022

Ms Heather

Heather Kostov

PEDAGOGICAL DIRECTOR

Upon earning my Bachelor's Degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education from a university deeply rooted in the Reggio Emilia philosophy, I embarked on my journey with KLA Schools in 2015, starting at the Plainfield location and initially working in the 4s program. Over the following six years, I assumed the role of a Kindergarten teacher, fostering a deep love for reading and creating engaging, thought-provoking experiences that served as a bridge to knowledge for my students.In September 2023, I achieved a significant milestone when I was promoted to the position of Pedagogical Director overseeing all three KLA Schools locations: Plainfield, Naperville, and Naperville West. In this expanded role, my enthusiasm is boundless as I embrace the opportunity to mentor and guide educators across all our sites, further enhancing our commitment to the principles of the Reggio Emilia philosophy.

Stephanie Schultz

Stephanie Schultz

School Principal

Hello, my name is Stephanie, and working with children is something I am extremely passionate about. Since a very young age, I have always been nurturing. I have been working with different age groups since I was 15 years old. I began babysitting different children and then eventually pursued teaching. I studied early childhood at Waubonsee Community college and Aurora University. I have spent many hours doing observations and research in the field. I have also been an assistant teacher and have enjoyed watching my nephew and niece grow up and reach different benchmarks and milestones.

My educational philosophy is to treat all children equally and to help each child learn and grow. I hope to inspire children to become lifelong learners as we have many educational experiences together, also by demonstrating and helping each child interact in positive ways.

Tracy Swatek

Tracy Swatek

Pedagogical Coordinator

Hello, my name is Tracy, and I have been working as the Nido Class Lead Teacher since KLA schools opened in October 2013. I am currently the Pedagogical Coordinator here at Plainfield. I started my career in education by teaching Kindergarten to second grade before taking a break to raise my two adult children and grandsons.

Returning to Early Childhood Education, I found my passion for working with Toddlers. As a teacher, I believe every child's experience can be a learning opportunity, and it's our responsibility to provide quality care and education for each child. I chose KLA schools because they respected each child and their commitment to partnering with families.

Karen David

Karen Michelle David

Administrative Assistant Principal

My name is Karen David, and I am a Principal in Training here at KLA. I have been working with young children for over 15 years. I am originally from the Philippines and was a Primary Years Program teacher in an International Baccalaureate school. I have taught Preschool up to 3rd Grade and pride myself in helping my students take ownership in their learning. After we moved to the US, I have worked in a Head Start facility, both as a Lead Teacher and a Director.

I feel very fortunate to find KLA Schools, as the Reggio Emilia approach aligns with how I view children and their potential to learn. I find it rewarding to witness teachers, parents, and communities work together to create a stimulating environment and meaningful interactions that inspire children to discover the world around them.

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