Jessy Dinkelman

Director

Hello! I am Ms. Jessy Dinkelman. I am the Director of the center. I’ve been here for the past 7 years in many different work roles. My first day here I knew: this is where I always wanted to be. I love the staff, the children, the environment, the Church and the community we all share. The children are my first priority and I love spending time getting to know each of them and their family members. Here at Open Arms we are a big family, supporting each other in our parenting journeys because "it takes a village". My husband, Adam, and I welcomed our first child, Ambellina, back in August of 2021.  She’s growing up so fast and enjoys her days here at Open Arms and her Sundays at Immanuel. I look forward to the growth of the school, our community, and my own family. If you ever need anything please do not hesitate to ask, I always keep an open door!

 

 


Christin Nosko

Assistant Director

My name is Christin Nosko (Ms. Christin) and I am the new Asst. Director at Open Arms Open Arms Early Child Development Center in Glenview. I am very excited to be here and I look forward to getting to know all the staff, children and parents in the upcoming weeks. To start, I want to give you a little background about myself. I grew up in Chicago, Illinois (yes the city) and have been a part of the LCMS Lutheran Church since birth. I grew up in and graduated from St Philip Lutheran School, then went on to attend Luther North High School. From there, I branched out to Western Illinois University and then transferred to Northeastern Illinois University, where I received my bachelors in Early Childhood Education. I would later go back for my Masters in Leadership and graduate with honors during the beginning of the pandemic in March of 2020.


Since I was little, I always knew I wanted to be in the education field. My mom would tell me stories of how I would “play” teacher with my teddy bears and eventually my little brother, when he was old enough to sit up. Since the age of 16, I have worked in preschools in many different Early Childhood Classrooms. Once receiving my degree, I worked in head start programs, daycare centers (both private and public), as well as volunteered my time tutoring on the weekends. I have had experience in the classrooms with children ranging from birth to 8th grade and I have taught many different levels and know what being in the Lutheran system is about.


Outside of the classroom or office, I love to spend time with my family, friends, and dog. Going to the park, beach or anything that is calming has become my weekend routine. I am a fan of anything Disney and count down the days till my next Disney vacation. In the meantime, I’m excited to be here at Open Arms and I look forward to meeting everyone and helping in any way I can. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or concerns in the upcoming weeks. Thank you for welcoming me with “Open Arms”.

Rana Sweilem

Morning Teacher, Baby Rosebuds

Ms. Rana is the co-teacher with Ms. Natalie in the infant room and has been working at Open Arms since 2007. She has always loved working with children and once her own children grew up they joined the Open Arms family in their founding year. Her favorite things about working with infants is watching them grow and develop. She loves to feed them and make them laugh during tummy time. When they move into new classes, Ms. Rana loves saying hello as they pass and seeing how much they have changed since their time in the infant room.

 

Ms. Rana is married and has four children. She lives in Glenview with her family but was born and raised in Jordan.

 

When she’s not at Open Arms, she loves to go for walks at Flick Park, to cook and bake, and to spend time with her children, nieces and nephews.

 

Natalie Kryjanovskaia

Afternoon Teacher, Baby Rosebuds

I am Ms. Natalie and I am the Baby Rosebuds teacher.  I have been with Open Arms since the first day they opened. It has been a very rewarding opportunity to have worked with so many wonderful children and their families. I love being able to help the infants and their families as they begin their journey at Open Arms and learn to navigate the waters of being first time parents, or second, third or fourth! I am originally from Ukraine, that is where I went to college and worked with kids. In my spare time I love to spend time with my family, go to concerts, read, spend time outdoors, and travel. I am looking forward to meeting all our newest little ones and their families, you are all a blessing to me!  

  

Debbie Johnson

Lead Teacher, Baby Begonias

Ms. Debbie (that’s me) has been working at Open Arms since August of 2012. (Has it been ten years already?!?) I started in the Toddler Tulips and then moved into the Begonia room where I am now the leader of the Begonia team. Prior to coming to Open Arms I was an elementary teacher in a Lutheran school. I am a product of Lutheran education and have always taught in Lutheran schools, graduating with my teaching credentials in 1985 from Concordia Chicago.


I grew up in Racine, Wisconsin, where my sister still lives. I also have two brothers, one lives in Maryland and the other in Georgia. Three of us are Lutheran trained educators. At times you might find me playing the organ at Immanuel, Glenview.


My husband, Eric, and I live in Des Plaines. We have three children and two grandchildren. Rachel and her husband live in Washington, D.C., Nathan is in Chicago, and Hannah and her family are in Wheeling.


When I do have free time I enjoy relaxing in front of the tv with my cats Cali, Oreo, and Monti. I also enjoy counted cross stitch projects and sewing. My latest project is sewing bibs for the OA classrooms.

 

  

Carol Endres

Morning Teacher, Toddler Tulips

I am Ms. Carol, the Toddler Tulips co-teacher! This is my sixteenth year here at Open Arms, and I have adored and appreciated every day that I have been here in this amazing community. God has blessed me with so many opportunities to grow close to such wonderful children and parents! I am a  graduate of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and have taken courses at OCC. Before teaching at Open Arms I taught third grade, and later I substituted at several schools. In my spare time I enjoy reading anything and everything, swimming and spending time with friends. I have three amazing grown children, so spending my weekends with them and the rest of my family makes me the happiest! The “icing on the cake” is spending days with my eight year old grandson Alex!

  

Adriana Zagal

Lead Teacher, Tiger Lily Twos

Hello I’m Ms. Adriana,

I have always wanted to be a teacher ever since I was a little girl. I took an ECE class during my senior year where I got to experience working with children and have lesson plans ready. I have been working for Open Arms for almost 6 years where I worked closely with Teacher Leads and helped with lessons they have planned. I have gained so much knowledge and experience working in the 2’s room. This is my second year as the lead teacher in the 2’s. My plan for the future is returning to school and getting my degree for ECE. I currently have my CDA.

Michelle Harner

Lead Teacher, Daisy Threes

Hello, My name is Michelle and I am the lead teacher of the Daisy 3s room at Open Arms. Working with kids is a passion of mine! I have an associates degree in fine arts, and am currently working towards a bachelors in psychology. Child development is a great interest of mine, and it is so great to get to see your threes grow into big four year old's. I have worked at Open Arms for a year starting as an assistant in the threes room.

  

Megan Gerken

Lead Teacher, Sunflower Fours

Ms. Gerken will be going into her 8th year of teaching in the Sunflower 4s room. She studied elementary education at Illinois State University. Even though she went to school for elementary school she has used her knowledge and experience to develop a play based curriculum. Each year she goes over the alphabet a letter a week. Activities and art projects are all based on the letter of the week.  In addition to many hands-on engaging activities she is a huge fan of LEGO! She enjoys sharing the love of LEGO with others, but most importantly she shares the love of Christ through her Jesus times with singing and the retelling of Bible stories. 

 


Leslie Christiansen

Lead Teacher, Wildflower Kindergarten

Hi there! My name is Ms. Leslie and I am the lead teacher for the Wildflower Kindergarten class! I am going into my 3rd year of teaching Kindergarten and my 9th year of working at Open Arms (led the 3s my first year and 5 years of being a summer camp counselor). I have my bachelors degree in Lutheran Early Childhood Education from Concordia University Wisconsin and am currently finishing my masters online at CUW for Literacy. I have also been a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church for my entire life, being baptized and confirmed here and also going to Pre-K and Kindergarten at Immanuel Lutheran School before Open Arms opened. Kindergarten is my favorite grade to teach because I love the balance of play and learning and you can see the kids grow and change over the year. When I am not teaching, you can either find me sipping on a cup of coffee or watching a baseball game!