Our Program

The Laraway School Fine Arts Department provides all students will rich and varied learning opportunities as we strive to nurture lifelong musicians and artists. We are passionate about helping her students realize their potential and connect with the people and world around them.

Our Directors

Cherrelle Negrusz
K-8 General Music / Choir / Drama / Piano / Music Honor Society

Ms. Negrusz graduated from North Central College in 2009 with a B.A. in Music Education. She is currently taking Master’s classes at VanderCook College of Music. Outside of teaching, Ms. Negrusz enjoys playing piano, exploring local trails, and spending time with her family.

Kelly Thelen
Band / Drama / Music Honor Society

Ms. Thelen graduated from Elmhurst College in 2014 with a B.A. in Music Education. Before coming to Laraway CCSD 70c, she traveled to Montego Bay, Jamaica, where I taught music in several of the area schools. While attending Elmhurst College, some of her favorite moments include performing in Chicago’s Orchestra Hall with the Wind Ensemble and touring Serbia and Croatia with the Elmhurst College Jazz Band. She is an active member of the community band at Elmhurst College.

Joanna Jolly
Choir / Drama

Mrs. Jolly has been in education for 18 years as an aide, 4th grade teacher, and currently Library Information Specialist. She enjoys reading, watching movies, and having adventures with her family and friends.

Kristin Kempiak

Miss Kempiak graduated from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota in 2004 with a B.A. in Elementary Education.  She earned her master’s degrees from Lewis University in Reading and Literacy in 2007 and English as a Second Language in 2015.  Miss Kempiak has been in education for 15 years, four years teaching 5th grade in Plainfield and 11 years as the Reading Specialist at Laraway.  Outside of teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, traveling, gardening and dancing.

Elizabeth McDonald
K-8 General Art / Art Club / Art Studio / Art Honor Society

Mrs. McDonald graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Art Education. She recently obtained a master’s degree in Teaching and Learning from the University of St. Francis. Mrs. McDonald feels privileged to work with students at Laraway School District for eleven years and can’t imagine being anywhere else!