Administration and Office Staff

 Lisa Bergbreiter

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Lisa Bergbreiter

Principal

Mrs. Bergbreiter (or Ms. Lisa to the kids) is in her 6th year as Principal of Independence Early Learning Center. She enjoys working with the 3-5 year old students in our building.  She is able to combine her education in early childhood, special education and administration in one position.

Mrs. Bergreiter has been in education for 21 years.  She started her career in Early Childhood before moving into special education where she taught middle school students with learning disabilities and behavioral disorders.  While teaching middle school, she received her Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and began her career in administration.  Her first administrative position was in Belvidere at South Middle School as Assistant Principal of Student Services.  While in Belvidere she also served as Special Education Supervisor for the Pre K-21 year old transitional program.  After many years in the middle school environment, Ms. Bergbreiter went back to her early childhood roots, accepting the position at Independence.

Mrs. Bergbreiter lives in Marengo with her husband, Steve, and her son, Alten (11 years old).  When not at school, she is very busy with Alten and his sports (soccer and baseball).  Between her family at home and her family at school, she stays very active.

 Bonnie Droesch

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Bonnie Droesch

Secretary

Ms. Droesch (or Miss Bonnie to the students) serves as the Independence secretary. She has been at Independence for 100 years and is the go to for most answers in the building. When you call the school or ring the doorbell, you often will hear Ms. Droesch greeting you!

 Elizabeth (Daisy) Alonzo

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Elizabeth (Daisy) Alonzo

Home-School Liasion 

Ms. Alonzo (or Miss Daisy to the students) serves as the bilingual Home-School Liasion for Independence. She has been at Independence for two years and loves working with families and students. When you call the school or ring the doorbell, you often will hear Ms. Alonzo greeting you!

 Amy Farano

Phone: x6149

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Amy Farano

Special Education Administrator

Mrs. Farano (Miss Amy to the kids) is the Early Childhood Special Education Administrator for District U-46.  Two days per week she works directly with the teachers, students and families from Independence Center for Early Learning.  Mrs. Farano has spent her career in the field of education working as an early childhood special education teacher, an early childhood communication development teacher (students with autism) and an early childhood blended preschool teacher.  Mrs. Farano was an interim principal and assistant principal in Chicago Public Schools for five years before her tenure in U-46.  Mrs. Farano believes strongly in the inclusion of students with special needs and strives daily to work with her families, teachers and staff to ensure the success of all students within the least restrictive learning environment.  She loves her job as an educational leader and administrator but especially loves when she gets into the classrooms to play and learn alongside the kiddos and teachers.

 Carlene Kellenberger

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Carlene Kellenberger

Certified School Nurse

Mrs. Kellenberger (Ms. Carlene) is the Certified School Nurse who you will see at IEP meetings, speak with for health history reports for IEPs, and also may help you with vision and hearing screening. Carlene travels between buildings but she is always available to support your health needs. 

 Julie Hopper

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Julie Hopper

Registered Nurse (RN)

Ms. Hopper (Ms. Julie) is our building nurse. She works in the Health Office, helps kids who have injuries or illness, and checks health-related paperwork. She always has a fresh supply of bandaids and ice packs!

Therapists

 Speech Therapy

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Speech Therapy

Kate Olson, Ana Grzybek, and Sarah Ruff

The Speech Language Pathologists at Independence work with students who have fluency, articulation, and language disorders. They work with the students both in the classroom setting and in therapy rooms. They enjoy working with other staff, parents, and the students to help the kids grow in their communication during these important early years.

 Occupational Therapy

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Occupational Therapy

Grace Dibos, Jessica Cox, May Lee, and Carol Rauschenberger
 
Occupational and Physical therapy helps individuals promote successful and independent participation across school settings. OT & PT's support student access and eliminate barriers to learning. Occupational therapist support students participation in student occupations ( which may include supports for fine motor skills, self -help skills, self- regulation/sensory processing). The occupational and physical therapists support the educational goals in collaboration with classroom teachers.
 Physical Therapy

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Physical Therapy

Becky Armstrong (PT-A) and Carline Fomby (PT) are the physical therapists at Independence.

Occupational and Physical therapy helps individuals promote successful and independent participation across school settings. OT & PT's support student access and eliminate barriers to learning. Physical therapist support students participation in school to access their school environment addressing gross motor skills, which may include supports for walking and mobility in wheelchairs, stair climbing, seating and positioning. The occupational and physical therapists support the educational goals in collaboration with classroom teachers.

 Social Work/Psychologist

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Social Work/Psychologist

Benjamin Jeffrey, School Social Worker

Mr. Jeffrey (or Mr. Ben to the kids) 

Susan Ackerman, School Psychologist

As the school psychologist Miss Sue's primary role is to assess and evaluate our youngest population in order to better understand what their strengths are, where they need extra support and facilitate how we can come together as a team and create the most optimal learning experience. She helps support students by teaching and modeling school appropriate behaviors, classroom expectations as well as independence and coping skills in all of our children. 

 Library

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Library

Mrs. Horn (Miss Sophie to the kids) is in her second year at Independence. Each class at Independence gets an opportunity to come to the library or have the librarian come to their classroom, each week for story time. During their time they can check out a book from a large selection of fiction and non-fiction picture books and board books in English and in Spanish.

Staff Directory