Dr. Laurie Klomhaus

Dr. Laurie Klomhaus

West Aurora Learning Center, Early Learning Academy

Dr. Laurie Klomhaus

My name is Laurie Klomhaus and I feel honored and privileged to be the principal of the Early Learning Academy. I am a life-long resident of Aurora and raised my family in School District 129.

I began my teaching career in ESL pull-out instruction in Carpentersville, IL. I eventually received my bilingual endorsement in the Spanish language and master's degree in curriculum and instruction from National-Louis University. During this time, I taught for nine years in Elgin in a second grade bilingual classroom. After teaching in Elgin, I stayed home a few years to take care of my small children. Eventually, I went back to teaching half time on the East side of Aurora as a Title 1 pull-out reading teacher.

After East Aurora, in 2006, I moved to West Aurora as a reading first reading coach for three years. This was an exciting time for me as I learned a tremendous amount about student learning in the area of reading. The reading first initiative came to an end and I received the position of assistant principal at Greenman Elementary in West Aurora. During my tenure as assistant principal, I went back to school and received my doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Aurora University. In 2011, I became the principal of Todd Early Childhood Center now known as the Early Learning Academy in West Aurora.

I am beginning my 32nd year in education and I feel that the ELA has one of the best staffs around! We are super proud of the preschool curriculum written by ELA staff members. Many of our staff members have master’s degrees in education and several endorsements with many years of early childhood experience. Staff members strive to offer developmentally appropriate opportunities for all students in an inclusive environment. We pride ourselves in our work with families and students. We also love and honor the role our families play in the educational partnerships we look to create. Welcome to the ELA and thank you for entrusting us with the education of your child!

Anita Conklin

Anita Conklin

Assistant Principal
Early Learning Academy


I am grateful to be part of School District 129 and thrilled to continue serving the students, families, and staff of the Early Learning Academy in my role as assistant principal.   

Since 2021, I served as an early childhood special education coordinator for West Aurora School District 129. In that role, I was responsible for the enrollment of incoming early childhood special education students. Additional responsibilities included arranging specialized transportation for students, developing professional learning for teachers, and facilitating monthly professional learning community meetings.

Prior to her time in that role, I spent five years as an early childhood special education teacher in West Aurora School District 129. As a teacher leader, I was an active member of the school improvement and curriculum pilot teams and served as a mentor to new teachers.

Before joining West Aurora School District 129, I spent eight years as a public school substitute teacher, four years as a parents' day out director and church nursery coordinator, and one year as a kindergarten teacher at Wasco Elementary School in Community Unit School District 303. 

I hold a Bachelor of Science in early childhood education from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Science in teaching and learning from the University of St. Francis. 

In the coming school year, I look forward to embracing the curiosity, complexity and joy of learning with our students and staff!