1700 West Cortland Street, Suite 101
Chicago, IL 60622

​    ​​​The Nicholson School


Becca Goering


Becca's lifelong passion for educating young children started with her own preschool experience in the suburbs of Chicago and led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Early Childhood Education from Miami University in Ohio and a master's degree in Child Development, specializing in administration, from the Erikson Institute.  Becca holds her Illinois State type 04 teacher certificate and has over 10 years of early childhood classroom experience.  She taught at Families Together Cooperative Nursery School on the north-side of Chicago where she solidified her interest in teaching preschool and decided to pursue her master's degree.  While working towards her degree, Becca continued to gain valuable classroom experience teaching in the early childhood program at the Avery Coonley School, an independent school in the western suburbs. In addition to her extensive classroom and educational background, Becca brings enthusiasm, creativity and a true commitment to providing positive early childhood experiences to children and their families. Becca has been with The Nicholson School since we opened our doors and is proud to lead the team as the school's director. Becca is very pleased to be a member of our school community.

Joanna Johnston Kovar
Educational Support Advisor


Joanna Johnston Kovar, former Nicholson School director, is passionate about educating the very young and brings with her a deep understanding of educating the whole child. Joanna earned her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from The Erikson Institute and has been active in the field for fourteen years as both teacher and director. Most recently Joanna’s knowledge of the young child was greatly enhanced by the birth of her three children. In the role of Educational Support Advisor Joanna will lead the the school's continuing education program and act as primary point of contact with the Department of Children and Family Services.

Garden Room Teachers

Blair Cohn
Lead Teacher

Blair is thrilled to be part of The Nicholson School for the fourth year! Blair is originally from Maryland, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English from University of Maryland, College Park. While living in New York she received her Master’s in Early Childhood Education from CUNY Brooklyn College as well as her New York State Teacher’s Certification. Blair taught for four years in a 3’s-4’s classroom at Reggio Emilia inspired, Chelsea Day School in Manhattan. At Chelsea Day, she solidified her love of teaching early childhood as well as her passion for progressive education. Blair has also been the lead teacher at both The Mandell School and Tribeca Community School. She is passionate about the arts in early childhood as well as the involvement of families in the classroom. Blair's dedication to teaching the whole child and helping to create strong relationships with families in an asset to the Nicholson School community. 

Lindsey Malacara 
Assistant Teacher

Lindsey received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Marquette University and is in her second year at Erikson Institute working towards her MS in Early Childhood Education. While at Marquette Lindsey volunteered as: 1) a child coordinator for children staying at The Women's Shelter; 2) a youth coordinator at Walker's Point, a program for at risk youth and runaways, and 3) an assistant in two local kindergarten classrooms' after school programs. After graduation Lindsey volunteered in La Ceiba, Honduras for several months teaching English to kindergarteners and assisting at the local orphanage. At South Loop Elementary School's summer program Lindsey implemented a highly successful gardening elective for grades 1 through 3. Lindsey is very excited to be part of The Nicholson School community for her fourth year and shares her creativity and excitement for early childhood education with our families. 

Laura Marsolais

Assistant Teacher/Yoga Enrichment Teacher 

Laura earned a masters of arts in Elementary Education from Ms. St. Mary's University and an undergraduate degree in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has several years experience teaching second and third grade in Maryland. As a teacher, Laura generated thematic units, creative lesson plans and most importantly a vibrant, stimulating and positive classroom experience. She believes that when students feel valued and appreciated they re more likely to take risks and be active participants in the learning process. Laura also has experience caring for infants and is in awe of the development that takes place during the first years of a child's life. Finally, Laura is an active yogi and yoga instructor and will be teaching yoga to our preschoolers. She has received teaching certifications from Yogaview and Nature Yoga and has been teaching for over two years and practicing for over ten. She participates in workshops and trainings all over the Chicago area. Outside of the Nicholson School, Laura can be found practicing yoga, writing stories, painting, or enjoying Chicago comedy and the lakefront. She is incredibly grateful to be part of the Nicholson School team and cannot wait to help your children create magical preschool memories. 

Cloud Room Teachers

Angela Gordon
Lead Teacher

Angela developed a heart and passion for teaching city kids in Chicago where she was was born and raised. Angela graduated from Taylor University with a degree in Elementary Education and she received her Masters in Early Childhood Education from Erikson Institute. Angela brings fifteen years of Pre-K - 2nd grade teaching experience to The Nicholson School; most recently she taught kindergarten for six years at Andrew Jackson Language Academy. Angela is excited to join the Nicholson School team and looks forward to helping our children develop a love of learning.

Guadalupe (Pita) Angeles
Assistant Teacher

Guadalupe, also known as Pita, is a recent graduate of Beloit College where she received her B.A. in Comparative Literature and Critical Identity Studies. Pita's studies led her to nonprofit youth work in the Back of the Yards Neighborhood in Chicago, LGBTQ work in Botswana, and Interfaith work in Wisconsin. After an internship in 2015 at an all-girls orphanage in Arequipa, Peru, Pita decided to return to Chicago, her hometown, to pursue a career in early childhood education. Pita is very excited to be a part of The Nicholson School community. When she's not in school, Pita enjoys writing, dabbling in music or grabbing a coffee in Pilsen where she resides. 

Caren Jurina
Assistant Teacher 

​​Caren spent the last eight years as an “artsitter” with Sitters Studio and holds an Associates Degree in Art. Caren's passion for sharing her joy for the arts with young children led her to Kendall College where she earned her BA in Early Childhood Education. Caren is very excited to embark on her second year of  teaching with The Nicholson School; she's looking forward to sharing her passion for artistic expression and creative play with our young learners.


The Nicholson School is fortunate to have wonderful, nurturing early childhood educators on staff.  The teachers bring a combination of practical preschool teaching experience along with early childhood development expertise to create a stimulating yet nurturing classroom environment.  Educators work as a team, planning and evaluating the curriculum.  Modifications are developed as needed to suit children's needs.