|Our teachers and staff|
|Sandy K. Pennington she/her. Preschool Director, 20 years.|
I am so proud to be the director of First United Methodist Preschool. I have my degree in Child and Family Development from Texas State University. This is my 19th year at FUMP and I have 31 years in early childhood education. I spend my time with family, friends, reading, and exercising.
|Ms Erin she/her. Three Year Old Lead Teacher, 17 years|
|About Ms. Erin
I am a veteran teacher of 22 years (wow - hard for me to even believe!) and mother to our wonderful triplets: Sparrow, Dexter, and Lincoln, who attended FUMP. I hold a Bachelor's degree in Elementary education from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. My husband, Michael, and I are both from Nashville, although this year will mark my 19th year living in Austin. Outside of teaching and being a mama, I love to travel (especially to my home-away-from-home Charleston), fashion, sing in the choir, and play the piano.
|What our parents say
"I was so comforted at conferences knowing that Erin actually *knew* my child and had noticed specific areas of progress (and improvement still needed) that were very similar to what we had seen at home. Great observation of the individual children and I know she pushed my child to become more independent and try new things in a supportive way."
|Ms Stacy she/her. PreKindergarten Lead Teacher, 22 years.|
|About Ms. Stacy
I joined the staff of FUMP in 1999, while attending the University of Texas. I quickly came to love the atmosphere, the students, and the families. The preschool years are such a fun time in a child's life and I love being a part of it. My very first class is now in college and I still keep in touch with them and their families.
I am a native Austinite, and I love being on the trail or at any of the local parks. I love all things related to cooking, and am constantly trying to find healthier versions of my favorite foods. I am the oldest of four children, and I come from a family background of teachers and administrators. I live in South Austin with my fur children; a 9-year-old rescue Boxer named Patsy from Austin Boxer Rescue, and a reformed street cat named Millie. Millie makes friends with all the neighbors and loves to visit them. Just like any proud parent, I am happy to regal you of all of her adventures.
My favorite book for parents or teachers is Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline by Becky Bailey, it discusses a guidance approach called Conscious Discipline. “When I say to a parent, “read to a child”, I don’t want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate.” –Mem Fox. On rough days I remind myself of this quote and try to be kind to myself and others: Don’t be so hard on yourself, the E.T. Mom had an alien in her house for several days and she didn’t even notice.
Most of all, I love teaching and watching children learn new skills. Having a classroom that is fun, challenging, and a nurturing place is extremely important to me. Thank you for sharing your most precious children with us at FUMP.
|What our parents say
"We love Stacy! We will sorely miss her next year. My two children were not particularly interested in art, and Stacy pushed them to do some painting, cutting, and drawing. As a result, I think both of them found art to be more enjoyable than they thought it would be. Stacy's always great about answering our concerns about our children. She let's us know if they are on target, needs a little work in a certain area, or if we just need to observe the behavior. It is always great to hear Stacy's stories about our child as well! Stacy is great! We couldn't be happier!"
|Ms. Janis she/her. Twos Lead Teacher, 9 years|
|About Ms. Janis
I was born in Wiesbaden, Germany and grew up mostly in Texas. I moved to Austin in the 1980s to be closer to my sister, who is also the reason I entered Early Childhood Education. I started out by substituting for her when she took her summer vacations.
I am looking forward to teaching the two year old class this year. Over the years, I’ve taught most age groups except infants (and including Freshman English at Texas Woman's University while I was pretending to go to graduate school). All in all, I've been working with young children since I graduated from high school and, after forays into retail and state government, returned to teaching in 2000. I previously taught at FUMP in the early '90's and returned in August 2013.
My interests include reading, calligraphy, art and music.
|What our parents say
"Nothing but great things about this teacher. Love how my child's world has opened up due to various centers throughout classroom, and introduced new things."
|Adrian they/them. Older Infants, Lead Teacher, 12 years.|
I have been at FUMP since 2010 and worked with all age groups until I realized that toddlers were my absolute joy to work with. Their curiosity and development are always able to keep things fresh! As for myself, I was born in Florida but have been in Austin for over two decades now. I enjoy reading, writing, table top RPGs, and spending time in nature.
|What our parents say
"Adrian is a great teacher. She is so patient with the kids, which is so important with her age group! Her approach to dealing with some of the challenging toddler issues is so helpful to us in dealing with them at home as well. We are so thankful for her!"
|Ms. Keely she/her. Lead Teacher, 2 years.|
|This will be my third year with FUMP and I could not be more excited! Though most of my early childhood experience is gained via motherhood, I possess complementary skills via babysitting, AmeriCorps, and as a CPS caseworker. Formally trained in business, I have a bachelor's degree in international business from SFA and a master's degree in public administration from College of Charleston. My greatest short-term goal is an additional degree in teaching.
I am a wife and a mother to a daughter (9), a son (6), a black lab mix, and a mini-lop bunny. In addition to time with family, I enjoy reading, crafting, and living room dance parties.
I look forward to working with your precious littles and helping them grow in a safe and nurturing environment.
|Ms. Shannon she/her. Young Toddlers Lead Teacher.|
|Hey there! I am super excited to be working with your kiddos this year! I’ve worked with very young children and families for over 10 years as a preschool teacher, and as an Early Intervention Specialist for the State of Texas.
I believe the most important thing in childhood is for kiddos to find their voices, even when they aren’t sure what to say yet. We’ll be learning about important things like playing next to friends, communicating, being active, exploring the outdoors, and taking care of ‘stuff’. My role with your children will be to help them learn those words and translate all of those big feelings into expressions and actions to connect with the community around them.
My daughter Kiana and I share a love of tea, the month of Halloween, painting (she paints and I hang it up), and musical theater. My husband and I share a passion for traveling, wine tasting, and live music (ACL Forever). And if I had to name a favorite kiddo book, it’d be anything in the Skippy Jon Jones world because, at the end of the day, we all have a superhero chihuahua just waiting to take over the world.
|Ms. Erica she/her. MTW Twos Lead Teacher.|
|My passion for preschool age teaching started in 2012 when my college plan, to be a nurse, took a sharp 90 degree turn. A friend of mine asked if I might be interested in working with special needs children. I took that opportunity and haven't looked back ONCE! I quickly discovered that I had found 'my calling in life', working with young children.
My teaching style includes play based learning, messy projects, and a focus on social/emotional development. If you walk by my classroom, you might find us elbow deep in slime, or making faces in the mirror as we practice naming different emotions. I also lean into the benefits of outdoor play and exploration. We spend lots of time taking walks, playing at the Capitol grounds, and learning about nature. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work at FUMP!
In my spare time I enjoy crafting, volunteering at church, hiking, foraging, and trying new foods! My family means everything to me! My husband and I have 2 beautiful kids, Liam (5) and Ava (2). Life is busy but wonderful!
|Ms. Anissa she/her. Young Infants. Bio coming soon.|
|OUR TEACHING ASSISTANTS|
|Ms Mari she/her. Assistant Teacher, 7 years.|
|About Ms. Mari
Hi. My name is Mari. This is my fifth year at FUMP and I am thrilled and excited to be back and able to support the lead teachers to educate children. I come from a family of 5 and I am the oldest. I have been living in Austin for 36 years. I am fluent in Spanish. I have been married for 19 years. In my free time, I like to read, and listen to music. I'm looking forward to spending time with your child.
|Ms. Janie she/her. Assistant Teacher, 7 years.|
|Hi there! My name is Janie. I am excited to be starting my seventh year with the outstanding group of early childhood educators. I have my Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from LSU. I have 41 years of experience working with young children and families in church-housed programs. During that time, I was the assistant director, nursery coordinator, and lead teacher. My home is Baton Rouge, La., but I have lived in Austin since 1983. I am married and have an amazing son and daughter-in-law. I am so thankful for my beautiful grandchildren. They are the joy of my life - Lily is four, Emersyn is 2 years and Dutton was just born this summer. I enjoy cooking, working in my yard, collecting mid-century modern furniture - most of all, I love spending time with my granddaughters!! I look forward to spending my days with your child.|
|Mr. Daviss he/him. Assistant Teacher, 2 years.|
|Hello! It can be confusing having a last name for a first name. So for clarification, King is my last name and Daviss is my first name, but kids at FUMP & FUMC call me Mr. Daviss. I was born and lived in Dallas, Texas until I moved to Austin in 2003. I have a business degree from SMU and have worked in commercial real estate as a developer, manager, and owner/investor. I am a member of FUMC and spend a portion my spare time volunteering in the Church office. I discovered my love of and talent with children as a volunteer Sunday school teacher and vacation Bible school leader at FUMC and as a substitute teacher at FUMP. My two children, Gina (12) and Oscar (14) are beautiful Shetland Sheep Dogs (Shelties) who sleep next to me every night.|
|Ms. Lara she/her. Assistant Teacher, 2 years.|
|This is my second year teaching at FUMP, although I was a frequent substitute previously. I'm excited to be working in such a great environment! I got my bachelor's degree in Applied Learning and Development at UT in 2010. I have three children who are now 8 (Yukon), 9 (Mary), and 12 (April). I enjoy knitting, singing, reading, camping, and playing with children.|
|Ms. Frances she/her. Assistant Teacher, 5 years.|
|Jenn they/them. Assistant Teacher, First year.|
|I grew up in Dallas and moved to Austin to pursue my Master's in Social Work, which I earned in 2019. My concentration was community building and flourishing, with an emphasis on systemic social change. I have found during my career that conflict resolution and emotional intelligence are absolutely vital to the healthy functioning of every community. I was thrilled to join the FUMP community after spending a year at a mixed-age, play-based learning community. My first year at FUMP brought me to threes and fours for the first time, and I learn something every day from them.
In my free time, I spend a ton of time snuggling with my kitty, reading and dreaming about a better world, and creating various visual arts.
|Ms. Ansley she/her. Toddler Teaching Assistant. First year.|
|Bio coming soon|
|Ms. Chandler she/her. Floating Assistant. First year.|
|This is my first year at FUMP and I love being able to experience every age group and assist all of the great teachers.
In 2017 I began in early childhood education while in school, and it has been so fun to work with infants & toddlers. I grew up in Sunset Beach, Ca. and relocated to Austin when I was 16.
I love spending time with my 2-year-old daughter, Ginger, and my boyfriend Dennis. We live in West Austin with our 2 kittens & Chihuahua ‘Peanut’. In my free time, I enjoy baking, gardening, animals, hiking, shopping, & reading.
|Ms. Kim she/her. Office Assistant. 1st year.|
|I joined FUMP October, 2021 as the Office Assistant. I have worked in the Austin ISD for two years, and now I am so glad I found my home here at FUMP. I live in Buda, and I am married to my husband Gary, and I have two sons that are 25, and 21. I love to see your children everyday at school. They make my day, and they are such a joy to be around. I spend my free time with my family and friends.|
|Lara Greene she/her. Director of Children and Family Ministries.|
|Lara fills the key role of liaison between First Church and FUMP. She is also the parent of two FUMP graduates. She directs and coordinates the FUMC Sunday School Program, Vacation Bible School, the Annual Easter Egg Hunt on the Capitol Grounds and celebrations around the church calendar.|
|Coach Bob he/him. PE for Preschoolers|
|Coach Bob has been our fitness class instructor for more than 15 years. He provides age-appropriate and engaging movement classes for our threes and fours classes.|