Erin Kelly Gaines – Receptionist

Erin Kelly Gaines


After working 29 years at an after school program in Lake County, I’m thrilled to have landed here at Roycemore.

I grew up in Waukegan, the firstborn of five children. Being the eldest, my main responsibility was to care for my younger siblings. That led to babysitting cousins, close family friends, and children of my parents’ co-workers. Twelve years of my life were spent in private, Catholic school. While attending Carmel High School, I took a Child Development class. It made me realize that I wanted to follow a career path that involved children. Thanks to a relative’s recommendation, I was hired to work at the After school Club. I spent more than half of my life with them. Some of the kids I’d taken care of came back and worked for me. A few even wound up sending their own children to my program as the years went on.

I married my husband, Tom, in May of 1999. Last spring, we moved into his renovated childhood home here in Evanston. We are thrilled to be living in the city he loves so much. I have 13 nieces and nephews that are the lights of my life. Being an aunt is the greatest thing in the world to me!! When I’m not working, you can find me cheering loudly at a Bears game (I’m a season ticket holder), at a concert or traveling. NYC/Broadway is my favorite place to visit!

Favorite Quote

Fill your life with experiences, not things. Have stories to tell, not stuff to show. -Unknown

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. -Dr. Seuss

Throw kindness around like confetti! -Unknown

Enjoy life now… this in not a dress rehearsal. -Unknown

Why do you like working with students? What is the impact you hope to make on students?

Having worked hands-on with children for so many years, I realize how much a person/event can impact them. I strive to leave positive, lasting impressions on the kids I interact with. Sometimes a smile, hello/how are you or a hug can turn a day around. You never know what they might have been dealing with up to that point. My previous company’s motto was: “We make great memories!” I am proud to say that I’ve contributed to many.

Why Roycemore?

I wanted to become part of the Roycemore community as soon as I visited the website. It reminded me, in several ways, of my grade school… even the school colors were the same. Upon meeting the amazing administrators, I knew it was the perfect fit for me. I was welcomed with open arms by the staff, faculty, and families form day one. I am beyond grateful to be a part of this wonderful institution!