Preschool Staff

Meet our talented and compassionate Preschool staff

Principal Lee Burkland smiling and enjoying an activity with two preschoolers who are visually impairedLee Burklund – Principal
Lee is an accomplished educator with an extensive background in speech pathology. Prior to joining The Lighthouse, she spent 31 years working in various special education roles with ECHO (Exceptional Children Have Opportunities), a special education cooperative for students with vision, physical, health, orthopedic, traumatic brain injury and intellectual disabilities. She has been a frequent lecturer, is widely published and was named Educator of the Year by Illinois Teachers of the Physically and Health Impaired. Lee has a Bachelor of Arts from Valparaiso University and a Master of Health Science from Governor’s State University.


Teacher Abby Cooney working on a painting project with a preschool studentAbby Cooney – Lead Preschool Teacher


Mary Kate McLaughlin – Head Special Education Teacher
Mary Kate McLaughlin received a Bachelor of Science in Special Education – Low Vision and Blindness from Illinois State University in 2017. Mary Kate works with the Preschool’s staff to facilitate a multi-sensory approach inside the classroom to meet the needs of visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic learners.


Philip Cameron – Inclusive Arts Specialist
Philip Cameron received a Master of Arts in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. As an Inclusive Arts Specialist, Philip provides a broad range of arts-based, mental health and educational services to an ever-growing number of client populations, including preschool students who are blind or visually impaired preschool as well as elementary, middle, and high school students who are blind or visually impaired, as well as students with multiple disabilities.  Philip works independently and collaboratively to develop and implement individual and group arts programming, which strive to promote diversity and inclusion within and through the arts.



Jaret Bozigian teaching a preschool to navigate using a caneJaret Bozigian – Orientation & Mobility Specialist
Jaret graduated with a masters degree in Orientation and Mobility from Western Michigan University in 2011. He completed his internship at the Hines VA Hospital Blind Rehabilitation Center and has been ACVREP certified and working in the field since 2011. Jaret has experience working with a variety of clients including children and adults and currently provides individualized training to students in the school districts as well as adults in their home environments.


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