Meet Our Staff








Marlene Christ, Project Director: Marlene Christ is the Project Director for STAR NET Region VI. She has extensive experience in early childhood programs and services. Marlene has worked as a school based speech-language pathologist, diagnostician on an Early Childhood Team; Early Intervention service provider, and supervisor of an Early Intervention program. Marlene also served as supervisor of the speech-language program and assistive technology program at Southwest Cook County Cooperative Association for Special Education and as an educational consultant and trainer for Infinitec. Marlene has a B.A. in Speech, a M.H.S in Communication Disorders and has completed graduate coursework for a School Administrators Certificate. Marlene can be reached at

Sheila Bauer, Resource Specialist: Sheila brings 17 years experience as a social worker to the STAR NET team. Sheila devoted most of her career to working in Early Childhood and Early Intervention programs as a social worker. She has led parent groups, facilitated children's social groups, provided support in the classroom and contributed to assessment/diagnostic teams. Sheila has a B.A. in Psychology, Masters in Social Work and Masters in Education Administration. Sheila can be reached at

Becky Handler, Resource Specialist: Becky Handler worked for many years as a speech pathologist in a communication development classroom and as an inclusion facilitator. She has extensive experience consulting in early childhood elementary classrooms, day care sites and Head Start programs. She is a trainer of trainers for Teaching Strategies GOLD, Creative Curriculum 5th Edition and ECERS-R and ELS. Becky is also a trainer for the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS). Becky has a B.S. and a M.S. in speech language pathology.Becky can be reached at

Nancy Pufahl, Resource Specialist: Nancy Pufahl is an experienced early childhood teacher. Nancy received her undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University and her Master’s in Early Childhood Education from Governors State University.She taught ECSE and worked in early intervention as a developmental therapist.Nancy is trained in several areas of assessment including Teaching Strategies Gold, Creative Curriculum 5th Edition, CLASS, ECERS-R and ELS. Nancy is also a trainer for the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards (IELDS). Nancy is able to provide support in these areas as well as trainings on topics such as autism, behavior and curriculum.Nancy can be reached at