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, Office Manager

Megan Lowndes, a native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, has been an important part of the Bubbles Academy team since 2010! She has lead many initiatives from hiring and on-boarding new team members, encouraging positive company culture, to nur... To read more >>>

Sam Perry, Teacher

Samantha Perry joined Bubbles Academy in 2010. Sam’s responsibilities have included roles ranging from the coordination of children’s learning and play events to her current role as lead teacher in the 4’s preschool classroom. Prio... To read more >>>

Lina Chambers, Preschool Teacher

Lina Chambers joined Bubbles Academy in 2013 as a lead teacher for the Preparing for Preschool program. In this role, her responsibilities included building confidence and independence in children to help them feel comfortable separating... 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 >>>

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 >>>

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 >>>

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 >>>

Grace Stratton, Teacher

A native of Milwaukee, WI, Grace graduated from the University of Dayton in 2011 with a BA in Communication and Theatre. She has been working with Bubbles Academy for almost 3 years now and spent the last year and a half teaching in the ... 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 >>>

Ben Tatar, Teacher

From humming Billy Joel in the backseat of his family car during childhood road trips, to performing on stages across Italy, music has stretched the length of Ben Tatar’s life. A devoted music educator, composer and performer, Tatar’... To read more >>>

Cynthia Bangert, Teacher

Cynthia Bangert, a Chicago native, is a performer, improviser and teaching artist all over town. Growing up in Edison Park as the younger middle child of 4 sisters, she started taking drama classes at the Park District and immediately de... 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 >>>

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