Our Directors

Director Shelly AllenShelly Allen
(West Elgin)
Starting my career with The Learning Tree as an assistant teacher at the original westside location in 1989, I worked with all age groups 2 years through school age.  With the opportunity to serve as a program director, I transferred to the Algonquin center in 1992.  After the birth of my first child, Paige, in 1996 (who attended The Learning Tree from 12 weeks old to age 12) I transferred back to westside (at its current location) and the classroom.  With the numerous opportunities given to me through The Learning Tree to continue my education, I succeeded in obtaining an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education with 28 semester hours in Early Childhood.  My second child, Griffin, was born in 2001 and is still currently attending The Learning Tree as a school-ager.  I taught in the infant room until my promotion to program director in 1999.  In 2005 I was again promoted to director of the westside center.  As director I was able to complete the certification process for Food Service and Sanitation, and I became a CDA Advisor.  Throughout my career with The Learning Tree I have annually completed CPR and First Aid training as well as a minimum of 15 hours of in-service training each year.

Director Laura CollinsLaura Collins
I am the director of the Learning Tree of east Elgin. I started with The Learning Tree in 1988 as the cook and an assistant teacher with the toddlers. I enrolled in classes at Elgin Community College to become director-qualified. During this time I enjoyed teaching preschool at the center. I was promoted to co-director of the westside center on Aldine Street in 1994.  In 1996 I moved to the eastside center as an assistant director/program director, I was promoted to the head director position at the eastside center in January of 2006. I have been trained in Love and Logic and The Illinois Early Learning Standards, and I have my Food Service and Sanitation certificate through the State of Illinois Health Department. In addition, I annually renew my C.P.R and First Aid Training.  I have been married to Patrick Collins since 1992. My step-son Zachary, my son Troy, and my daughter Apryl all have attended The Learning Tree.

Director Kim HannellKim Hannell Hopkins
I am the director of The Learning Tree Child Care Center in Huntley. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa in Journalism & Mass Communications with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. I have worked with The Learning Tree Child Care Centers since 1993, and enjoy working with all age groups in the schools.  I am involved in several charitable organizations in the Fox Valley such as YWCA Leaders Luncheon & The Fidelitors’ Club. Throughout my career I have continued my education with college courses, workshops & seminars relating to early childhood.  I earned a Food Service and Sanitation certificate through the State of Illinois Health Department, and I annually complete training in infant, child, and adult CPR and First Aid. My husband Tim and I have three children, our twins Katherine & Andrew were born in 2003 and our son Jack was born in 2006.

Director Sue KempSue Kempe
My career with The Learning Tree began in 1984 at the original westside center in Elgin as an assistant teacher.  At this time I attended Elgin Community College to earn an associate's degree, and I worked with children of all ages.  In 1987, when the eastside center was built, I transferred there as a teacher and assistant director.  Finally, in 1991, I transferred to the Algonquin center and became the director.  I am married and have three stepchildren, and I have lived in the Algonquin community since 1996.  As a director, I have obtained a Food Service and Sanitation license.  Each year, I also complete 15 hours of in service training and CPR/First Aid.


Elgin West Center Click for Directions
2325 Royal Blvd.
Elgin, IL 60123
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Elgin East Center Click for Directions
845 Summit St.
Elgin, IL 60120
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Huntley Center Click for Directions
11424 Rainsford Dr.
Huntley, IL 60142
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Algonquin Center Click for Directions
210 N. Harrison St.
Algonquin, IL 60102
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The Elgin West Center The Elgin East Center The Huntley  Center The Algonquin Center