Lurie Children’s offers various education programs to our patients and their siblings to make sure a stay at our hospital doesn’t disrupt a child’s learning. The following programs are led by teachers with years of experience in the education system.
- School Services and Education Liaison Program
- Epilepsy Education Program
- Cochlear Implant Program
- Department of Hematology, Oncology, Neuro-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation
- NICU-Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program
Read the bios to meet our teachers and education liaisons.
Meet Our Teachers
Scott Zagalak, M. Ed, co-leads our hospital-wide School Services Program. Scott has a Master's degree in education with endorsements in math, social science, business and economics, and Spanish. His teaching license also bears the designation of approval for Learning Behavior Specialist I. Before coming to work at the hospital, he taught as a Chicago Public Schools teacher for 10 years. He is a Golden Apple Teacher of Distinction and received the 2016 Griffin Award for Teacher of Excellence from the University of Chicago. As a life-long learner, he believes learning should be fun, engaging, and hands-on. He enjoys working with our patients and their families to maintain their academic progress.
Katie Vautier, M. Ed, co-leads the hospital-wide School Services Program. Katie has a Master’s degree in education with an endorsement in Spanish. She taught kindergarten, third, fifth, and sixth grades in Chicago Public Schools before starting at the hospital. As a School Services Coordinator, Katie provides student instruction in all subject areas while working closely with families and schools to ensure students are staying on track academically while inpatient at the hospital.
Meet Our Education Liaisons
Jen Haney, MA, DT-H, is the Hart Family Education Liaison for the Cochlear Implant Program at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She is a licensed teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing and credentialed Early Intervention evaluator and provider. Jen holds a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Organizational Change from Roosevelt University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Deaf Education from Illinois State University. Jen joined the Cochlear Implant Team in November of 2015. Since becoming part of the team, Jen has had the opportunity to present at both the state and national level. She provides support and resources to families regarding the education of their child from birth through post-secondary education. Jen also collaborates with educational teams in a variety of school placements keeping them up-to-date regarding a number of aspects pertaining to cochlear implants. She is currently pursuing her Listening and Spoken Language certification to become a licensed Auditory Verbal Educator.
Sarah Johnson is the Education Liaison for the NICU-Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Program within the Heart Center. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology, and is a licensed Special Education Teacher with a Learning Behavior Specialist 1 Endorsement. Prior to working at Lurie Children's, she worked as a special education teacher in Chicago Public Schools in both the middle school and primary grades. Sarah brings her experience with special education services, knowledge of educational rights and a passion for access to education to this role. She enjoys partnering with patient families and their school teams to enable students to achieve their fullest potential.
Amanda Torres is the Education Liaison for the Pediatric Epilepsy Center. Previous to starting at Lurie Children’s, Amanda worked as a school social worker with Chicago Public Schools serving children with special needs. Amanda also has experience working with general education students in k-12th grade. Amanda holds a master’s degree in Social Work with a Professional Educator License (PEL). She enjoys supporting her patients’ well-being and educational success by collaborating with their families, schools, and medical team.
Katlyn Treinen, M.Ed is the Education Liaison for the Department of Hematology, Oncology, Neuro-Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation. Katlyn has a master’s degree in education with an endorsement in special education. Before coming to work at the hospital, Katlyn taught for 5 years as an elementary special education teacher for Madison Metropolitan School District in Madison, Wisconsin. Katlyn brings her experience with special education services, as well as knowledge of educational planning to this role. She enjoys working with patients and their families to set patients up for academic success.