College of Education

University Primary School

University Primary School - Learning is serious delight

Faculty & Staff

The faculty and staff at Uni Primary are a dedicated team of educators who enjoy an intellectual approach to teaching and learning. As teacher researchers (one of the Reggio Emilia inspired roles of teacher), we seek to "make learning visible" for one another, our families and children, and with the University students and researchers who work alongside us. Each of our classrooms has multiple teachers to collaborate with, and we carefully prepare environments and experiences while listening to the voices of the children in our care. We seriously delight in learning with and from the children and one another.


Director of School: Dr. Ali Lewis

An enthusiast in the field of education, Dr. Lewis has served as Uni Primary’s Director for over a decade. She instructs in the elementary licensure program at The College of Education, and learns daily from the preschool-college students in her care. Dr. Lewis is uplifted by a dedicated staff of teachers committed to the rights of children and their families.


School Office Support Specialist: Christine Wyant

Preschool Classroom

Head Teacher: Natalie Roberts

I hold a Bachelors in Psychology and Human Development from the University of New Mexico and have 13 years experience in the classroom. I've spent time as a preschool administrator and created and led parent-education workshops for families with young children. In addition, to my love of teaching, I enjoy yoga, being outside, swimming, hiking, riding my bike, gardening, reading, or just relaxing with my family and friends. 

Co-Teacher: Min Ji Yoo

Hello families! My name is Min Ji Yoo. I am working towards my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with bilingual and ESL endorsement. This is my 4th year at Uni Primary, and I am very thankful to continue my teaching journey with a great teaching team and wonderful preschoolers! Outside teaching, I love running outside, playing tennis, reading books, doing puzzles, and watching various documentaries! 

Co-Teacher: Brenda Ramirez

Hello! My name is Brenda Ramirez. I am from a small suburb 45 minutes north of Chicago called Mundelein. I recently graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. I am super excited to be a part of University Primary School and join the preschool classroom this year as I work toward my Master's Degree!

Extended Day Co-Teacher/After School PreK teacher: Max Skaj

Hi, my name is Max! I have a biology degree from Parkland College, and I plan to attend the University of Illinois for a degree in Fish and Wildlife Management. I love being outdoors, hiking, camping, kayaking, and cuddling up with my two cats and a good book!

Kindergarten/1st Grade Classroom

Head Teacher: Ann Clare

Having taught kindergarten in Virginia and New York before working as both teacher and consultant in early childhood classrooms and early intervention in Illinois, Ann is happy to be in her ninth year of teaching at University Primary!

Co-Teacher: Kawai Cheung

My name is Kawai Cheung and I  grew up/went to school in the south side of Chicago. I recently graduated with a bachelor's in early childhood education from the University of Illinois, and will be a first year co teacher in k/1 as I complete my Master's Degree. I can’t wait to use this opportunity to gain experience and learn from the K/1 class.

Co-Teacher: Molly Newman-Johnson

Molly grew up in Champaign-Urbana and attended kindergarten at South Side Elementary School in Champaign. Molly is a first year co-teacher in K/1. The love of learning and curiosity is what she wants to explore and encourage with the K/1 class. She is excited to get to know everyone and have the opportunity to learn and grow together.

Second/Third Grade Classroom

Head Teacher: Kristen Miller

Co-Teacher: Bee Butler

Co-Teacher: Gertrude Bakalus

Fourth/Fifth Grade Classroom

Head Teacher: Nikki Anderson

My name is Nikki Anderson, and I am the Head Teacher for the 4/5 classroom. I have been part of the University Primary School family since the 2019-2020 school year. Outside of school, I enjoy reading, singing, watching suspense dramas, traveling to warm beaches, shopping and spending time with my family and friends.

Co-Teacher: Victor Ruiz-Divas

Hola familias! My name is Victor and I am one of the co-teachers for our 4th/5th-grade classroom. This is my second year being a member of the Uni Primary family. I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I am currently a second-year doctoral student at the UofI. Outside of the classroom and academia, you can find me engaging in various forms of art or watching/playing the world's game, futbol (soccer). Let's learn together! 

Co-Teacher: Zhiyue Lu

I obtained my Master of Science degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University. I previously worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Neuroscience, CAS. As a new Ph.D. student from the Curriculum and Instruction program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I believe to be a 4/5th grade co-teacher will inspire me to keep innovating in the field of education.


Spanish Teacher: Cristina Flores

Adventure Play Afterschool Program & Summer Camp Director

Director: Kelsey Langley

Teachers at Work and Play

University Primary School - Learning is serious delight