Meet our Staff

  • tamara chandler...preschool director and teacher

    I have taught children for 25 years and feel very fortunate to be a part of the Word of Life Preschool.  I have a master’s degree in counseling psychology and have always enjoyed helping others. I am married and have 2 sons. We enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and snow-skiing. We also like eating at restaurants and going to the movies. Word of Life Preschool is a wonderful school! I love seeing the children grow and develop throughout the school year. They learn so much! Come check out our preschool where we believe in working together and lifting everyone up.

  • Alison Hannon

    Welcome! I'm excited to return to teaching the Guppies and Teddy Bears classes at Word of Life Preschool. I've been in early childhood for almost 20 years and have served as a teacher and director. My two daughters are alumni of the preschool, and I know their experience helped shape them into who they are today. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, walking my dog, and taking vacations with my family. I look forward to partnering with you and helping your child become a life-long learner.

  • Mary hensley

    I joined the Word of Life staff in 2008 as an assistant to the director and as a substitute. I also worked as an assistant teacher in the literacy classes. I live in Naperville with my husband Jamie and our daughter Emily. Our daughter recently graduated from college, and our son Connor, lives in Iowa. I’m very excited to be the assistant teacher in the Turtles class, and I look forward to meeting you!

  • tara gardner

    Welcome to Word of Life Preschool. I am very excited for the opportunity to teach the Teddy Bears' class this year. I have a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education. I taught fifth grade before having children. I live in Naperville with my husband Nate and our two children, Hazel (9 years old) and William (5 years old). I enjoy traveling, the beach, reading, and spending time with family and friends. I love seeing my students learn and gain confidence in their unique abilities throughout each school year. I am grateful for this opportunity to teach and to get to know you and your child this school year. 

  • Abby ritt

    This is my first year as assistant teacher in the Guppies and Teddy Bears classes at Word of Life Preschool. I’m so excited to get to know all of the children and have the privilege to work in such a fun and positive environment! I live in Wheaton with my parents and my younger sister as well as my golden retriever Oliver. I’m extremely grateful for the experience to teach kids about God and watch them grow throughout the year!

  • Kathryn Liversidge

    I am very excited to be joining the Word of Life team. I’ve been working in Early Years for the past 14 years. I love seeing students grow and flourish. I’ve lived in Naperville for the past 3 years, with my husband and 6-year-old daughter. We moved here from England. In my spare time I enjoy hiking with my family and going on adventures, as well as reading and exercising. I look forward to getting to know all the new families this year.

  • becky straebel

    Welcome to Word of Life Preschool! I work as one of the teachers in Teddy Bears (2s) and help out in the other classes, as needed. I am married with two daughters (Beverly and Edie), both of whom have attended Word of Life preschool. Prior to working in early childhood education, I worked in the healthcare field for 15 years. In my free time, I enjoy distance running, yoga, and spending quality time with my family. I find preschool education to be a rewarding experience and look forward to helping in your child’s educational and spiritual growth.

  • Elizabeth knight

    Hello Word of Life Families! I’m happy to be joining this wonderful preschool as a teacher’s assistant for the Teddy Bears class. Previously, I taught 2nd grade and dance for Chicago Public Schools.  I have my Master's in Teaching from National-Louis University. I also used to dance professionally, and teach ballet at a local studio. I have three children, two of whom have attended WOL - Nolan (6), Amelia (4), and Ethan (17 months).  As an educator, I enjoy helping foster students’ natural curiosity and creativity, and am a strong proponent of a high-quality early education to help lay the foundation for success, both in childhood and beyond. I look forward to working with you to help your child learn and flourish in a safe and nurturing environment.