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About Us

Our Faculty
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Our faculty, administration, and other staff are all dedicated to nurturing and protecting our children.

Teachers & Administration

Meet Our Faculty

Terri Garcia

Primary Educator

Terri Garcia earned her BA from Judson University and holds an MA from St. Xavier University. For over 40 years, Terri has been involved with early childhood education in various capacities. She is truly passionate about teaching, but she also reads, sews, and takes long walks, all the while making time to spend with her two children and several grandchildren. 


Jennifer Christenson

Primary Educator

Jennifer Christenson has over twenty years of experience in education in various roles including teaching first through fifth grades. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University and has a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National Louis University and a Master’s Degree in Literacy from Northern Illinois University.   Mrs. Christenson loves the personal connections and relationships she makes with students and is very excited to teach at The Einstein Academy.


Sally Hover

Primary Educator & Assistant Principal

Ms. Hover obtained her Masters of Arts degree from Concordia University in Curriculum and Development and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Sociology and Anthropology from National-Louis University, graduating summa cum laude. She has also received her certification through Fermi Lab for “Beneath the Ashes” and “Particles, Prairies, and Technologies” as well as The Illinois Extension Service certification in “Embryology I and II, as well as studying methods of reaching gifted children under Dr. Sally Walker and Dr. Rima Binder in The Parallel Curriculum. 

She has more than thirty years experience working with students from Pre-K through high school.  As a lifelong learner Ms. Hover hopes to instill a lifetime love of learning in her colleagues, parents, and students.

Amy Lasser Baldini

Middle School

Mrs. Baldini graduated from National-Louis University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in Psychology. Mrs. Baldini is a natural when it comes to teaching. Her instant connection with children and genuine affection for them create an eagerness to learn in an atmosphere of openness and trust. Since the age of seven, her dream has been to teach, and she is delighted to be in her 15th year of teaching at The Einstein Academy.

Beau Johnson

Language Arts Specialist & Drama

Beau Johnson has spent over 20 years in education, designing progressive schools and educational programs all over the United States. His expertise in Humanities based curricular design and STEM programs have been shared in conferences and academia.   He shares his expertise in pedagogical design, program administration, teacher education with educators and cutting edge education tech initiatives all over the world. He is an artist, playwright, author, and occasional performer with a focus on young audiences and educational outreach.  Beau holds a BA from the University of Chicago, and an MA from New York University. He did his PhD coursework at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also served as a lecturer, and researcher on topics such as the design and implementation of education technology, student literacies & identity, and personalized learning.

Dan Dwyer

History Specialist (Middle/High School)

Daniel Dwyer is a graduate from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor’s Degree in History with a focus on United States History and Political Science.  He has obtained his Professional Educator License (PEL) from DePaul University in Secondary Education, along with certification in teaching middle school.  Daniel has taught U.S. History, European History, World History, U.S. Government and Economics through his tenure at Einstein Academy.  He loves reading about U.S. History, particularly 19th century history focusing on issues of race, gender and equality.  


Dr. Peter Horn

AP Biology/ Science Specialist (High School)

Dr. Peter Horn is a visiting instructor, offering specialized instruction in Conceptual Physics and Biology. Dr. Horn holds a bachelor of science degree in human biology, a doctoral degree in chiropractic, and a certificate of chiropractic sports medicine. He brings over 30 years of professional experience to our students. His passion for health and wellness is only surpassed by his passion to help others achieve their full potential and live their life to the fullest. He enjoys teaching, and he leads by example. Dr. Horn has an excellent understanding of the mission and goals of The Einstein Academy, as the youngest of his four children is an alum.

Katie O’Brien

Latin & Math Specialist

Katie O’Brien is The Einstein Academy’s Latin teacher. She is a graduate of Knox College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Classics and Education. During her undergraduate education, she received several honors such as the Lawrence Prize in both Greek and Latin, as well as inductions into the Eta Sigma Phi and Phi Beta Kappa honors societies. She is eager and excited to teach students of all ages Latin at The Einstein Academy and share her love of classical studies with its entire student body!

Tiffany Mazur

Life Skills & Librarian

Tiffany has a degree in Business from NIU, with a minor in psychology. She has worked in banking and as a professional photographer. She is a voracious reader and has always dabbled in various crafts. Tiffani is the proud mother of two daughters.

Virginia Vohasek

PreK Assistant

Virginia Vohasek has a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Management Information Systems from the University of Notre Dame. She spent her early career in the roles of Internal Auditor, Business Analyst, and Programmer working for several fortune 500 companies.

She is thoroughly enjoying her role as a Pre K Assistant and Technology teacher for grades PreK – High School at The Einstein Academy.

Cathy Ilani

Principal & Drama Specialist

Cathy Ilani has been a teacher for over 30 years. She received her Bachelor‘s Degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and her Master’s Degree from National Louis University. Cathy Ilani is one of the few teachers in the state of Illinois that is endorsed in Gifted Education.

A Word

From Our Principal

As an educator and a parent, the quality of education has always been important to me. In looking for the best fit for my children, I found that many private schools focused on various components of the curriculum while ignoring others. My search ended when I founded The Einstein Academy with a mission “to implement an individualized and nurturing program that provides students with skills and knowledge necessary to become productive members of society and lifelong learners.” My goal is to educate the whole child and to make sure that each student is treated with respect, encouragement, and devotion. These are character-building qualities that I expect for my own children.

Our school caters to the academically talented from ages 4 through High School. We strive to teach children the joy of learning which enables them to become lifelong learners. Our curriculum is accelerated, highly enriched and well balanced.  In addition, we prepare our students by building on themes such as community, relationships, responsibility, respect and kindness.

Visit our school and learn more about our Environmental Arts, Life Skills, and Advanced Placement courses.

– Cathy Ilani
Founder / Principal



How To Register Your Child for The Einstein Academy

If you would like to have your child considered for admission to The Einstein Academy for the current or upcoming school year, you can apply online.

See the guidelines to the right to make sure you have everything necessary to complete the application process.

International Applicants visit here

If you have any questions, please contact the Admissions Office:

Call For Inquiry

(847) 697-3836

Mail For Inquiry


Due to our rolling admissions process, we accept applications throughout the year. A non-refundable fee of $50 (or $100 for International) must accompany the application, payable to The Einstein Academy


Each applicant is required to schedule a class visit as part of the admissions process.


To be considered for acceptance by The Einstein Academy the following must be provided by the applicant:

  1. Copy of birth certificate
  2. Copy of report cards or assessment reports
  3. Teacher’s recommendation form
  4. Copy of results from any standardized test taken in the past three years

Get in Touch

Location: 747 Davis Road, Elgin, IL 60123

Telephone: (847) 697 - 3836


School Hours: M-F: 8:00am - 2:30pm

Extended Care: M-F: 7:00am - 6:00pm