Cara (pr. CAR-uh) Duffy is excited to join the staff of Prairie Crossing as a full-time
teacher after 12 years of substitute teaching across all subjects, preschool – 8 th grade,
in public and private schools, including gifted education and long-term math sub
positions for grades 6-8. After her daughters were born, Cara found her greatest
passion was teaching and improving educational opportunities for others with creativity and dedication.
A California native, Cara originally left San Diego to attend college in Massachusetts
and discovered a love for shoveling snow and working on airplanes in the Navy
Reserves! She also studied math, music, Spanish (and other languages), aerospace
engineering, and organizational psychology before completing a B.S. in Business from
IIT (Illinois Tech) in Ops. Mgmt. (Industrial Engineering). After working in the
transportation industry in Chicago and Green Bay, Cara has since continued to live in
the northwest suburbs with her husband Rob, while their now teenage daughters attend schools out of state.
For teaching, Cara completed early childhood education courses at Harper College and
then added coursework to teach math through Geometry before finally earning a Masters of Arts in Teaching Middle Grades Education (Math) at National-Louis University. She also served as an avid parent volunteer for over a decade at a gifted education school where she founded the school’s Chinese Club, taught a Hύlùsī Ensemble, coached their Community Problem Solving team, helped coach Math Team and Science Olympiad team events (including Forestry), and led the creation of several annual Middle School Socials!
Cara would love to get back to playing her instruments, but she also enjoys many other
interests such as architecture walks in her hometown, jogging year-round to Lake
Arlington, shopping in thrift stores with her daughters, finding ways to practice the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle), and visiting new places. Cara has visited every state and has introduced much of the U.S. to her daughters by having them ride Amtrak since they were toddlers. Favorite family trips included attending a native whale festival in Utqiaġvik (Barrow), Alaska, and surviving a 26-day driving tour to the East Coast to show her daughters “the history of our country through its colleges” (over 40 of them) while visiting old friends and family along the way.