The Team: Our expertise is rooted in early childhood education & the arts! Meet our dynamic team members …

Natalie Monterastelli, Executive Director

Natalie Monterastelli feels beyond lucky to have found such a magical place that weaves together so many of her passions and nurtures children and families during the critical first 5 years of development! Natalie's creative path has ta... To read more >>>

Kim Schiefelbein, Senior Director of Music

Kim Schiefelbein received what she calls her “dream job” in 2005 — when she began directing Bubbles Academy’s music and fitness programs! She holds a Bachelor of Music with a focus in Voice Performance from Miami University.  ... To read more >>>

Kirsten Uttich, Director of Operations

Kirsten Uttich brings a unique variety of expertise to Bubbles Academy — especially her tremendous service skills and a love for delighting an audience. She has been smiling wide and tapping her feet since the age of three, when she be... To read more >>>

Megan Lowndes, Human Resources Manager

Megan Lowndes, a native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, leads our human resources initiatives in order to create a truly vibrant work culture at Bubbles Academy. She studied communications, journalism and sociology at her alma mater, The Un... To read more >>>

Dani Brown, Art Manager & Preschool Teacher

A creative soul from southern Illinois, Dani Brown's journey began five hours south of Chicago. After receiving her BA in Studio Art Education from Southern Illinois University, she spread her creative wings by heading to the big city. ... To read more >>>

Sam Perry, Preschool Teacher

Originally from Novi, Michigan, Sam Perry came to Chicago to earn her bachelor of fine arts in acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. She discovered a passion for youth theatre and has been privileged to work with the Tony ... To read more >>>

Lina Chambers, Teacher

Lina is one of the preschool teachers as well as the gentle separation and pre-preschool class coordinator. Lina is passionate about empowering young children through arts integration. She uses her background in theater and performance t... To read more >>>

Brittny Congleton, Teacher

Brittny, a sassy Southern gal from Midway, Kentucky, is thrilled to be a part of Bubbles Academy — a place where she feels joyful, goofy and full of life! Studying Drama and Gender Studies at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentu... To read more >>>

Geoff Schott

Mr. Geoff has been playing music and working with kids for over a decade. He attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he focused his studies around language, education and music. In between semesters at UIC, Geoff kept himse... To read more >>>

Veronica Garza, Teacher

Veronica is a Pennsylvania State University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. She recently moved to Chicago from Pittsburgh to pursue a career in performance —bringing with her a bright history of acting in musicals, plays a... To read more >>>

David Kornfeld, Teacher

Born and raised in California, David Kornfeld grew up playing outdoors and communing with nature, and from infancy was drawn to music, both in listening to and creating it. Now, with a degree in music from Carleton College, he is very ex... To read more >>>

Emily Draffen

Emily Draffen is a native of Iowa and graduated from Drake University with a BFA in Acting and a minors in Writing and Musical Theatre. She is thrilled to be joining the Bubbles Academy team this year as a music teacher and feels lucky t... To read more >>>

Monica Lani, Teacher & Events Manager

Monica Lani is a Chicago native, born in Hyde Park and raised in the south suburbs. Working with kids is, and has always been, her greatest joy. As a braces-wearing-high schooler at Homewood Flossmoor (she would later become their su... To read more >>>

Matt Beard, Teacher

Matt comes from the mountains of Colorado where he studied Creative Writing and Theatre at the University of Colorado, as well as studied being an adventurer out in the hills and creeks. Music runs deep in Matt's family. His mother has a... To read more >>>

Alexis Pontidoro, Teacher

Madison, Wisconsin native Alexis first fell in love with music when she began taking Suzuki piano lessons at the age of four. Since then, she has added voice, guitar, bass, drums and ukulele to her repertoire. She studied Art and English... To read more >>>

Anna Rhoads, Teacher

Anna Rhoads is beyond excited to work at a place where she gets to share her love of music and imagination with a brand new generation - all while being supported by an amazing team of artists and creators who make Bubbles a magical plac... To read more >>>

Rich Ashworth, Teacher

Rich Ashworth grew up on a farm in Rhode Island where he discovered his passion for music, movement, and adventure at a young age. He received his BFA in Dance in 2007  from the State University of New York at Buffalo. During his time i... To read more >>>

Humberto Saldana, Events Assistant

From an early age, Humberto was most in his element when painting and drawing. He drew music as his inspiration, and chose to pursue a future in the arts. He graduated from the American Academy of Art in Chicago with a degree in illustra... To read more >>>

Our Team
"The teachers are awesome — super spirited and talented. They pay attention to each child and make the class fun for the kids and the adults.” — Yelp