Helping those who can’t help themselves is a big part of Kristine’s family experience. Certainly the most formative experience for Kristine was growing up with an uncle with severe Cerebral Palsy and an aunt with significant learning disabilities. Perhaps as a result, much of Kritine’s educational and professional experiences prior to starting Bubbles Academy were focused on advocating the interests of children with special needs.
This passion contributed to her tremendous breadth and depth of experiences with early childhood development. With a Master’s Degree in education from National-Louis University, Kristine worked as a child development specialist in early intervention as a child evaluator for the states of Illinois and New York and as a private consultant and therapist for families with autistic children. She has administered and assessed diagnostic evaluations as well as has provided therapy for children both in Chicago and New York City. In regular classrooms at both private and public schools, and as a special education consultant, she has worked with city educators, trained other therapists and teachers, and collaborated with parents directly to help children with their education and overall development. These diverse experiences in early childhood education, inspired by her family’s values and her personal life experiences, have helped Kristine to develop Bubbles Academy’s progressive and unique programs that support the healthy and happy development of all children no matter what their circumstances may be.
Born in Paris, France, Gregoire moved to Chicago as a young child. Together with his wife’s experiences in early childhood development, and his interest and exposure to the arts, it seems inevitable that creating an arts institution like Bubbles Academy would be in his future. His grandfather founded the oldest art gallery owned by one family in Chicago which his parents still own today here on Michigan Avenue. His sister is an art historian at Oxford University. Consistent with his families focus on the arts, Gregoire has always had a particular interest in art with an audio-visual focus which is the genesis of Bubbles Academy’s unique and inventive use of multi-medias in the classroom.
His professional background is an eclectic mix of entrepreneurial ventures, with two consulting firms started in Tokyo, Japan where he lived for seven years, and as well corporate experiences, having worked in competitive intelligence and marketing for an optical networking company in London, U.K. and the New York City metro area. He has served on the boards of Boundless Readers, the Latin School Alumni Board and the Neighborhood Parents Network. He currently serves on the board of Park West Cooperative Nursery, a progressive preschool in Chicago that has a play-based pedigogy. He is an alumnus of Chicago’s Latin School and received his MBA from Kellogg at Northwestern University.
Photo above courtesy of Classic Kids Photography.