Meet our Staff

Nancy Bifulco, Director – Nancy is in her second year as director of the FUMPS program.  She taught in the four year old program before becoming director.  Nancy is a very proud graduate of the program, back in its earlier days.  She has degrees in Elementary Education and Accounting, so the director position is a wonderful job for her, combining both her passion for children with her enjoyment of management.

Nancy is a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church.  She has been actively involved in the Sunday school program, has served on many work areas, and has played in the handbell choir for over 25 years. She is married to Ed, a chiropractor who teaches at a university.  She and Ed are the proud parents of Olivia, who is entering middle school this year.

Olivia keeps them very busy going to all her sporting events – soccer, baseball, basketball, and volleyball.

Karen Dortwegt, 4’s Teacher – Karen has a BA in Education.  She has been happily teaching at FUMPS since her youngest child started kindergarten.  She and her husband Bob have three children.  Chris is a high school band director in Mendota, IL, Lauren is a junior kindergarten teacher in Nashville, TN, and Mark is a middle school band director in Cleveland, TN.

In her spare time, Karen enjoys doing word puzzles and jigsaw puzzles, taking photographs, and reading.  Books by Kate Morton are on her favorites list.  Her favorite children’s book is A Big Ball of String by Marion Holland which she read over and over as a child.  When summer arrives, Karen’s favorite place to be is on the beaches of Lake Michigan where she can be found swimming, reading, and spending time with family.

Beth Schloss, 4’s Teacher – Beth started her career working with children at an Easter Seals rehab center as a social worker connecting children with the special services needed.  Desiring more direct involvement with students, she became an aide in a special ed. classroom working with kindergarten through third grade students prior to starting her family.  She was fortunate to stay home while raising her three kiddos but continued working with children through teaching Sunday school and our Junior High Onward Bound program for several years.  An afternoon three’s teaching position (way back when) started her years here at FUMPS.

Currently, Beth teaches the 4’s morning class which enables her to enjoy spending the afternoons with her grandchildren.  In her spare time you’ll find her fiddling with fabric or fiber, paint or paper, or hiking the woods with a geeky pair of binoculars.  The Driftless area of Wisconsin is a frequent destination she craves.

Kylie Spahn – 4’s teacher – I am giddy with excitement to be joining the 4 year old preschool afternoon class at FUMPS.  I live in Downers Grove and I am married with two daughters who attended FUMPS many years ago.  I am very, very passionate about education and the importance of play based learning.  Preschool is such a special time for our little ones as they navigate social learning and begin their academic journey.  I greatly appreciate you trusting me to teach your precious ones and look forward to a fun filled school year.

JoAnn Haemmerle – 4’s teacher – My name is JoAnn Haemmerle.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Education.  I am also a certified Reading Specialist.  I have taught preschool, first grade, and second grade.  I really enjoy the excitement that children have for learning and for developing friendships. As a preschool teacher, I am particularly excited to be able to provide a positive classroom experience at an early age in order to form the foundation for future years of learning.

Some of my interests are cooking, traveling, and shopping.  I also enjoy walking, reading, and spending time with my family.  I live in Downers Grove with my husband and have four children.

Jeni Robinson, 3’s teacher – This year marks Jeni’s 10 year anniversary at FUMPS.  Jeni is a lifelong resident of Downers Grove.  She graduated from Illinois State University with an education degree.  Jen’s four children keep her busy, but she tries to find time for running, biking, and the occasional ballet class.

Prior to working at FUMPS, Jeni could be found in the Downers Grove library’s Junior Room, leading story times and other programs.  She is still and avid reader, with books all over the house, so that there is always one available.  Jeni and her family are thoroughly enjoying their new puppy, Pippin, a cute rescue mutt with a big personality.

Elizabeth Torrisi, 3’s teacher – What do you want to be when you grow up?  A question a child hears throughout the years until finally in the career office of your chosen university you decide.  At least in Elizabeth’s case, that is how her story begins, in the career office at Dominican University.  She knew from an early age that her greatest desire was to have a family.  So finding the balance between the two, family and career, began for her long before she was married, before she had children, and long before she had any real idea of the challenges of balancing family and work.  Elizabeth holds two certifications in education, K-6 and 6-12 with a middle school endorsement.  She taught four year old preschool at Union Church in Hinsdale.  She also teaches religious education at her parish.

Elizabeth is newly married to her husband Carm and together they have four girls:  Gessica, Jacqueline, Gianna, and Juliette.  They live in LaGrange Park where they are busy with everything from dance, golf, music lessons, and homework.  She makes time to watch Downton Abbey, and when time allows, she enjoys reading and loves to dance.  She is truly grateful to be working at FUMPS.