Hello Preschool Families:
My name is Michelle Balaun. I will be teaching with Ms. Caryn at Knoch Knolls Nature Center this year. I am looking forward to a year of learning through fun experiences!
A little bit about me: My family and I moved to Naperville a little over 3 years ago. We moved here from The Woodlands, Texas (about 20 miles North of Houston). There I taught Preschool for 5 years. The first year I was there I worked as a sub. I was the only sub that would come in if anyone called. I worked almost every school day. I worked with Mother’s Day Out (12-18 months old to PreK.) After that year of subbing I was given my own Classroom.
I have 2 daughters, Nina who is a Senior at Columbus College of Art & Design, and Olivia who is a Sophomore at Naperville Central High School. Olivia is involved in Cheer and Travel Softball. John, my husband, works with the Cubs at Wrigley Field. (GO CUBBIES!!)
I am looking forward to getting to know you and your children and to have a fantastic year!
My name is Caryn Phelan. This year I will be co-teaching the 4 year old class on MWF at Knock Knolls with Ms. Michelle. This is my first year teaching at the Naperville Park District. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before coming to Naperville Park District, I was a Zookeeper for 6 years at Brookfield Zoo in the Children’s Zoo/ HFPZ. During my time there, I realized how much I enjoy sharing my love for nature with children. The Knock Knolls program offers me a unique opportunity to help the children explore and learn while having fun.
I met my husband at the zoo. He was a fellow zookeeper who shared my love for animals, children, the environment and sports. Tim and I have three children, two sons (10 and 7 years old) and a daughter (3). I have been a stay at home mom since my second son was born. We recently adopted a puppy and named her Ahsoka after the Star Wars Jedi character. Many of the conversations in our home revolve around science fiction and environmental science. The majority of my free time is spent playing with my daughter and attending my sons’ soccer and baseball games. I also enjoy gardening, biking, reading and traveling with friends and family.
I am so excited to get to know your children. It’s going to be a great year.