Joanna Taylor

Joanna is a Chicago native, Bucktown resident, and mother of a 14-year-old.  The Nicholson School is named after Joanna’s grandmother, Novella, a woman who loved education and always wanted to be a teacher. While Novella was never fortunate enough to teach in a formal setting, she shared her wisdom with her three children. Joanna’s passion for early childhood education blossomed while attending mommy and me classes with her daughter. Joanna is pleased to be a member of The Nicholson School community; “watching our teachers work with your children and seeing our student’s progress is a joy.” 

Meet Our Teachers

Maria Macnab

Maria is excited to be a member of The Nicholson School team.  She comes from a Chicago Public School where she was the Director of Early Childhood Programs for preschool to 1st grade for the past 9 years.  Maria holds her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Type 04 teaching certification from Erikson Institute as well as an ESL endorsement. Maria is also a Certified Yoga Instructor for Children/Families/Adults and has founded her own company, Yureka Yoga.

Maria believes in providing an educational environment that supports a child’s learning and development through developmentally appropriate teac hing practices. She has always been an advocate for educating the whole child.  She incorporates yoga & mindfulness each week with the goal of fostering stronger attention, focus, and self-regulation skills. Most importantly, she strives to foster a strong home/school connection and values building relationships with students, parents, and her co-workers.

Maria spends most of her spare time teaching, practicing, and learning about yoga & meditation. Her hobbies include traveling, spending time outdoors, reading, and going to brunch. 

Lindsey Malacara

Lindsey is excited to return to The Nicholson School where she was assistant teacher for five years before leaving to complete her Masters in Early Childhood Education at The Erikson Institute, graduating in 2019. Lindsey began her teaching career at South Loop Elementary where she was After School Director in the kindergarten / first grade program.

Lindsey is passionate about educating young children and believes in providing a nurturing environment that recognizes each child as an individual and meets each child where they are. Lindsey loves incorporating fun, creative, hands-on activities in her classroom to engage children and extend their learning.

In Lindsey’s free time, she enjoys the outdoors including hiking, camping, and gardening. Spending time with her husband, family and friends top the list.

Caren Jurina

Caren has an Associates Degree in Art and spent many years working as a freelance artist for Learning Resources and working in the exhibits department at The Chicago Academy of Sciences, a children’s museum dedicated to science and natural history. Her passion for using her art to help children to learn led her to working as an “art-sitter” with Sitters Studio, where for the last eight years she has used her artistic creativity to engage children in art, music, and dramatic play. Inspired by her art-sitting experiences Caren earned her BA in Early Childhood Education at Chicago’s Kendall College. Caren is very excited to embark on her third year of teaching with The Nicholson School; she’s looking forward to sharing her love for artistic expression, science exploration, and creative play with our young learners.

Bianca Lopez

Bianca is thrilled to be a part of The Nicholson School. She has over six years of experience working with young children and most recently she worked as lead for a kindergarten and 1st grade after school program. Bianca loves watching kids discover the world around them and become more confident in themselves. Outside of work Bianca enjoys reading, baking, and learning how to crochet.