400 East Westminster Road | Lake Forest, IL 60045


Success in learning. Success in life.

School Leadership and Teachers

Director:  Melissa Cunniff

The Episcopal Preschool has been under the direction of Melissa Cunniff since 2006.  Melissa holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from The University Of Kansas. Currently she holds a Level I Illinois Director Credential and an Illinois Professional Educator License (PEL) with endorsements in Elementary Education, Language Arts and Social Science.  Melissa has over 30 years of experience teaching early childhood education.

Message from the Director:

I believe that early childhood education offers children the chance to discover, provides opportunities for children to explore and experience their world, and encourages a sense of wonder about the world.

Brain development in young children is stimulated through touching, seeing, tasting, hearing and smelling; and words have value when they are read as books, told as stories, and sung as songs in the preschool classroom.

My hope is that each child becomes a passionate life learner.

It is my philosophy that children are unique individuals who deserve a warm, secure environment that promotes a sense of wonder and discovery in learning. Children should be encouraged to develop socially, intellectually, and creatively as they grow. It is important to value an inclusive environment that respects the distinctive qualities of others and the individual aspects of each child. Partnering with parents is necessary to promote and enhance each child’s growth and development.

Every child is unique in terms of life experiences, developmental readiness, and cultural heritage.

Our Play Based Program:

Young children learn primarily through play. They learn by doing. When children explore, investigate, and experiment through developmentally appropriate play, they acquire the necessary skills and abilities that allow them to effectively absorb from and adapt to their ever-changing environment for the rest of their lives.

Melissa Cunniff

Director – The Episcopal Preschool

Our Teachers:

  • Our teachers are experienced and committed educators who understand and value young minds.
  • Our teachers understand the importance of a nurturing approach to learning and social development.
  • All teachers are degreed in either early childhood or elementary education.
  • Our teachers customize their teaching methods to address each child’s strengths and interests.
  • Our teachers are supported in their work by their teaching assistants, who bring additional energy, creativity and innovation to each child’s educational experience.

The Twos

  • Teacher:  Melissa Cunniff
  • Lead Assistant: Maureen Schabel
  • Assistant: Kristin Ryan

The Threes

  • Teacher:  Melissa Cunniff
  • Lead Assistant:  Maureen Schabel
  • Assistant: Sheri Levine


  • Teacher:  Melanie Upfold
  • Lead Assistant: Jody Sandstrom
  • Assistant: Kathleen Fukuda