First United Methodist Church (FUMPS) has been serving preschoolers in our community for over 50 years. Our play-based curriculum prepares our students for a successful transition to kindergarten and elementary school. We focus on the whole child, encouraging exploration, creativity, and discovery.
Top 10 Thing Parents Like about FUMPS
- Time-tested thematic centers that change each week.
- Parents have lots of opportunities to volunteer in the classroom.
- The drop-off and pick-up line. I never have to get out of my car in bad weather with my little one.
- Weekly newsletter provides insight into and pictures of the learning happening in the classroom.
- The private playground is just for FUMPS preschoolers.
- The Nativity Play!
- Snack parents send out reminders when it is our turn to bring the healthy snack.
- The amount of time spent outdoors.
- The smiling, patient teachers who welcome each child to school every day.
- The numerous family events designed to build community.
Nancy Bifulco, Director – Nancy is in her sixth year as director of the FUMPS program. She taught in the 4’s class before becoming director. Nancy is a very proud graduate of the program, back in its earlier days. She has degrees in Elementary Education and Accounting, so the director position is a wonderful job for her, combining both her passion for children with her enjoyment of management.
Nancy is a lifelong member of First United Methodist Church. She has been actively involved in the Sunday school program, has served on many work areas, and has played in the handbell choir for over 25 years. She is married to Ed, a chiropractor who teaches at a university. She and Ed are the proud parents of Olivia, who is a high school junior this year.
Olivia keeps them very busy going to all her sporting events – baseball, basketball, and tennis. Their three dogs, Jake, Junior, and Maisy, add to the craziness of the Bifulco household!
Jeni Robinson, 3’s teacher – This year marks Jeni’s 14 year anniversary at FUMPS. Jeni is a lifelong resident of Downers Grove. She graduated from Illinois State University with an education degree. Jeni’s four children keep her busy, but she tries to find time for running, biking, and the occasional ballet class.
Prior to working at FUMPS, Jeni could be found in the Downers Grove library’s Junior Room, leading story times and other programs. She is still an avid reader, with books all over the house, so that there is always one available. Jeni and her family are thoroughly enjoying their new puppy, Maleeka, and their older dog Pippin, a cute rescue mutt with a big personality.
Elizabeth Torrisi, 3’s teacher – What do you want to be when you grow up? A question a child hears throughout the years until finally in the career office of your chosen university you decide. At least in Elizabeth’s case, that is how her story begins, in the career office at Dominican University. She knew from an early age that her greatest desire was to have a family. So finding the balance between the two, family and career, began for her long before she was married, before she had children, and long before she had any real idea of the challenges of balancing family and work. Elizabeth holds two certifications in education, K-6 and 6-12 with a middle school endorsement. She taught four year old preschool at Union Church in Hinsdale. She also teaches religious education at her parish.
Elizabeth is married to her husband Carm and together they have four girls: Gessica, Jacqueline, Gianna, and Juliette. One is in college and one is ready to go. They live in LaGrange Park where they are busy with everything from dance, golf, music lessons, and homework. She makes time to watch Poldark, and when time allows, she enjoys reading and loves to cook. She is truly grateful to be working at FUMPS.
JoAnn Haemmerle – 4’s teacher – My name is JoAnn Haemmerle. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Education. I am also a certified Reading Specialist. I have taught preschool, first grade, and second grade. I really enjoy the excitement that children have for learning and for developing friendships. As a preschool teacher, I am particularly excited to be able to provide a positive classroom experience at an early age in order to form the foundation for future years of learning.
Some of my interests are cooking, traveling, and shopping. I also enjoy walking, reading, and spending time with my family. I live in Downers Grove with my husband and have four children.
Kylie Spahn – 4’s teacher – I love teaching in the 4’s preschool afternoon class at FUMPS. I live in Downers Grove and I am married with two daughters who attended FUMPS many years ago. I am very, very passionate about education and the importance of play based learning. Preschool is such a special time for our little ones as they navigate social learning and begin their academic journey. I greatly appreciate you trusting me to teach your precious ones and look forward to a fun filled school year.