From teachers to front office staff to administrators, the roles vary, but the mission is the same. To recognize our team members, we will begin a Staff Spotlight Series! Every week, we will be spotlighting a staff member at each Intergenerational School!

Meet Ms. Taranto

As we continue our Staff Spotlight Series, we are recognizing Kaitlyn Taranto! Ms. Taranto has worked at Lakeshore for the past two years and has recently taken on the position of Digital Communication Specialist for all three schools while assisting with enrollment.

What drew you to working education?

Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher! My favorite past time was playing "school". I ended up pursing a degree in Marketing at Kent State University, but when I had the opportunity to work as a Community Relations Coordinator at Lakeshore - incorporating my degree and education - I knew I it was meant to be! Working at Lakeshore Intergenerational School over the past 2.5 years has made me realize I am meant to be in the classroom! I plan to pursue my master's degree in education in the future.

What makes our school special?

Our entire community of staff, students, families and partners! I truly love interacting with the students each and every day - even if I am just saying hello in the hall or joining a class on an Intergenerational Visit to a local senior care facility.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

I have always been interested in learning more about photography and the  pandemic has given me the time to pursue it!

Meet Ms. Mizisin

We want to a recognize a familiar face within the Near West Community, Molly Mizisin! Ms. Mizisn has worked in education for the past 15 years and five of those years have been at Near West Intergenerational School. Ms. Mizisn has recently transitioned into the role of an Intergenerational Programming Specialist. This new role will give her the opportunity to use her degree and dive deeper into developing meaningful programs that support our students’ educational goals at all three schools.

What drew you to working in education?

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved playing "school", and I could say it runs in the family! My grandma Carolyn was a well loved and well known teacher, who even in her 70's was still recognized and celebrated by former students. She was inspiring to me that she made that much of an impact on her students! What really sparked my passion to become a teacher was my nephew, Logan. I became an aunt my sophomore year of high school, and from the minute he was born I fell in love. The more time I spent watching him grow and develop, the more it became apparent that I wanted to pursue my degree in Early Childhood. And now, 15 years later, I wouldn't change it for the world!

What makes our school special?

I'll never forget the first week I started at Near West: the classrooms were lively and filled with excitement for learning. The multi-generational community is one of the things I think is makes the school so special. Teachers, staff, families, learning partners, senior care facilities, and many more have all come together to build a such a unique community that supports and fosters a joy of learning for our students. Whether you're a new student, new staff member or someone visiting as an outside community member you'll always be welcomed to the Intergenerational Schools with open arms and a sense of belonging. I feel fortunate to be apart of a community that feels like a second family.

What is something we may not know about you?

I love theatre. In high school, I was in several shows including Cinderella, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Radium Girls. My favorite memory was when I got to play the lead role, Kim Macafee in Bye, Bye Birdie. Sophomores rarely played lead roles, and it was my first time auditioning. I couldn't believe it!

My first year at Near West, I finally had some time to audition for community theatre, which was my first time performing outside of high school. Performing in the musical Beauty and the Beast ignited my love for theatre all over again, and I met some incredible people with so much talent. I am looking forward to having more time to audition when I have free time again!

Meet Mrs. Lovato

We want to a recognize a familiar face within the TIS-East Community, Lisa Lovato! Mrs. Lovato has been a part of The Intergenerational School community for eight years. She has served as a member of the Intergenerational Schools Board of Directors, President of the TIS-East Family Group, and currently has two sons attending the school. Mrs. Lovato has been a staff member at TIS-East for the past year and has recently transitioned into the role of Building Support Specialist at TIS – East.

What drew you to working in education?

I have two children that currently go to TIS-East, and I have spent years volunteering with the school. It was an easy transition to make! I love being a part of my children's day and making a difference for our families.

What makes our school special?

I love the school community - the students and families, staff, our community partners! I love them all! I think we really all work well together, and I love being a part of the TIS-East community.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself!

I am afraid of heights, so when I was 18 I decided to go skydiving! I discovered why the birds sing, but I don't recommend jumping out of a perfectly good airplane! It doesn't cure you of being afraid of heights.