K - 5th grade

Zoe Ardito    ardito@npeschool.org
Kindergarten Teacher

Zoe Ardito began at NPES in 2012 after graduating from North Park University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. After working as the Associate Kindergarten teacher for three years, Zoe is thrilled to be the new lead teacher in the Kindergarten classroom. In her free time, you can find Zoe enjoying the Chicago music scene, spending time with her family in the suburbs, or exploring the many delicious restaurants Chicago has to offer. 

Talia Blivaiss    blivaiss@npeschool.org
3rd Grade Teacher
Lead Teacher for 3-5 Team

Talia has a BA in Elementary Education from the University of Michigan and a MS in Education, with a focus on literacy, from Bank Street College of Education in New York.  She taught at both private and public schools in New York City before moving back to Chicago. She started at NPES in 2011 and loves the excitement and curiosity third graders bring to learning. In her free time, Talia likes to cook, bake, explore the city, and cheer for all University of Michigan sports teams! 

Connor Dillon     dillon@npeschool.org
4th/5th Grade Humanities Teacher




Katie Ekstrom    ekstrom@npeschool.org
2nd Grade Teacher
Katie started her NPES experience 6 years ago while she completed her field work in Mrs. Lawrence’s first grade classroom. After graduating from North Park University with a BA in Elementary Education, Katie worked as a maternity leave sub for Mrs. Lawrence’s 1st grade class. She then became the kindergarten associate teacher for 1.5 years. This year is her fourth year as lead teacher in second grade. When she isn’t teaching, you can find Katie spending time in the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood neighborhood, cooking, creating a variety of crafts, and cheering on her favorite sports teams.

Rebecca Gallagher Petrone    rgallagher@npeschool.org
4th/5th Grade Associate
Rebecca began working at NPES in November 2016 as the 3rd grade associate teacher. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Central Michigan University and she most recently graduated from University College Dublin with a Masters degree in World Heritage Management & Conservation. Her main research involved how schools in Ireland use resources, provided by museums and other cultural institutions, to supplement curriculum. She is continuing her research here in Chicago as she strives to educate future generations about the importance of cultural and natural heritage. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys exploring the museums of Chicago as well as visiting her family in Michigan.

Ally Kirchberg     kirchberg@npeschool.org
Associate Teacher - 1st Grade
Ally is beginning her 2nd year at NPES but her 3rd year as an educator.  She graduated in 2014 from Ohio Wesleyan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and Music. After graduation, Ally returned to Chicago and taught pre-kindergarten in Evanston, IL.  She loves to read, travel and spend time with her friends and family. She also loves exploring Chicago and Evanston, where she lives. Ally is excited to get to know all the families and students at North Park this year!

Nikki Lawrence    nlawrence@npeschool.org
1st Grade Teacher
Lead Teacher for K-2 team 

Nikki has been teaching first grade at NPES since 2000. Nikki received her undergraduate degree from Northeastern Illinois University in Early Childhood Education with an endorsement in Special Education. While working at NPES, Nikki went back to school and in 2008 received her Masters Degree in Education/Teacher Leadership from North Park University. When Nikki is not at school you will find her spending time with her husband Scott and their two daughters, Lily and Lexi. Nikki and her family live in Morton Grove.  Nikki is excited for both her daughters to be starting their own school experience. She is eager to take on the the role of a PTA parent and view school from the parent's perspective as well as a teacher.

Jennifer Nelles    nelles@npeschool.org
4th/5th Grade STEM Teacher
Jennifer Nelles has been a teacher at NPES since 2009.  She taught fourth grade for three years, fifth grade for three years, and is currently the STEM teacher for both fourth and fifth grade.  Jennifer received her B.A. from University of South Florida and her M.A. from University of Phoenix in Elementary Education.  Jennifer loves living in Chicago and exploring all that it has to offer. 

Erin Roegge    roegge@npeschool.org
Associate Teacher - 2nd Grade    
After completing her undergrad in Early Childhood Education at the University of Illinois, Erin taught preschool for two years in Champaign. She then moved to Chicago, she was a nanny for three years while completing her Masters as well as her ESL certification at National Louis University. Most recently, Erin taught preschool at St. Hilary School for two years. In her free time, you will find her working out so that she can go out to eat, cheering on Illinois sports (as terrible as they may be), babysitting, or enjoying all the fun activities that Chicago has to offer.

Nick Murawski    murawski@npeschool.org
Associate Teacher - 3rd Grade


Sarah Woltmann   woltmann@npeschool.org
Associate Teacher - Kindergarten
Sarah Woltmann has worked in early childhood for the past 15 years. She is a graduate with honors from Northeastern Illinois University. Sarah has taught kindergarten and 1st grade as well as developed a kindergarten enrichment program. She started working at NPES in 2014.  Sarah is focused on creating hands on, authentic experiences for her students through art, play and differentiated academics. Sarah is the proud mom of 5-year-old Mayli and 3-year-old Zander. She also enjoys playing pool, going to concerts, and the outdoors in fall. 


Contact Us

North Park Elementary School 2017 W Montrose Chicago, Illinois 60618
Phone: 773.327.3144      Fax: 773.327.0331     NPES_info@npeschool.org