About the Teachers
My name is Mayra Barajas. This is my second year teaching Kindergarten. I started as a student teacher at Giles in Kindergarten with Ms. Gralak as my cooperating teacher. I graduated from Dominican University with a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education.
I really enjoyed working with Kindergarten last year. I think of Kindergarten as many students' first encounter with school. I try to make it as enjoyable and exciting in order to shape their idea of what school is. I believe that if students think positively of school, they will succeed.
When I am not in school, I am with my husband and my two children. I have a three year old daughter and a soon to be seven year old son. We enjoy finding activities for the whole family and touring around Chicago.
I am looking forward to making your child's first year in school a great experience!
My name is Krystina Gralak, and I am very excited for this year in kindergarten at Leigh! This is my seventh year with District 80 and my sixth year teaching kindergarten! I graduated from Elmhurst College with a degree in Elementary Education. I recently completed my Masters’ in Special Education. I have lived on the northwest side of Chicago my whole life. I enjoy traveling, spending time with family and friends, and watching sports. Go Cubs and Go Blackhawks! I also love anything and everything Disney!
I am looking forward to working with the other kindergarten teachers and your child in reaching his or her full potential this year. I believe that each child is unique, and each child learns in a different way. I think it is important to help your child discover his or her individuality and work with him or her to be successful. I look forward to our adventure together and making this a memorable year!
My name is Kileen Casey and I am so excited to be working with your child in Kindergarten this year! This is my second year teaching at John V. Leigh School and my third year in District 80. I taught first grade last year, but I worked with Kindergarten my first year in District 80. Before coming to District 80, I worked in a Pre-K class in Chicago after graduating from the University of Missouri- Columbia with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education.
Outside of school, I spend most of my time with my fiancé, Aaron, our almost 3 year old daughter, Eloise, and our dog, Aspen. We all had a very fun summer playing outside at pool and in the yard, spending time in Wisconsin, exploring street festivals in Chicago and seeing a few concerts! I also love cheering on the Chicago Blackhawks and the Mizzou Tigers!
Looking forward to a wonderful year!!
I have been teaching kindergarten at Leigh School for a number of years now. Leigh School and this community are very dear to my heart and I honestly love my job! I graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign with my Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education and I have a Masters Degree in Reading from Northeastern Illinois University. I also have finished talking a number of post-graduate courses in order to better help me help your child. My husband, Dave and I have a 16-year-old daughter named Megan who will be
having her share of fun as she is starting her junior year of high school. We live in Lombard with our puppy named Piper and enjoy spending time together as a family!