|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 20th year as director, along with an additional 5 years as a teaching assistant at FUMP while attending UT. My husband and I have 4 adult children which keeps us busy! I spend my time with family and friends, reading, and exercising especially with our German Shorthaired Pointer.|
|Ms Erin she/her. Three Year Old Lead Teacher, 17 years|
|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.|
|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!"
|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 fourth year with FUMP and I could not be more excited! Though a significant amount 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(BBA) in international business from SFA and a master's degree in public administration (MPA) from College of Charleston. I am on target to obtain a Childhood Development Associate (CDA) credential and plan to follow that with an early childhood teaching certification via the state.
I am a wife and a mother to a daughter (10), a son (7), a black lab mix, a mini-lop bunny, and a kitten. 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 FUN, 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 12 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, and painting (she paints and I hang it up). 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 inside us just waiting to take over the world.
|Ms. Erica she/her. MTW Twos Lead Teacher.|
|My passion for teaching preschool started in 2012 when my college plan, to become a nurse, took a sharp 90 degree turn. A friend of mine asked if I might be interested in working with young children with disabilities. 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 Lead Teacher.|
|My name is Anissa Acosta. I have worked at FUMP, for 1 year as the Lead Infant Teacher and I have loved every minute of it. I have worked in Childcare for 12 years. I have had the opportunity to work as a Lead and Assistant in classrooms ranging in ages from Infants-3 years of age. I love teaching and watching children learn and grow.
I was born and raised in Austin, TX. I have three children of my own Julissa (11) , JC (10), and Julius (4). In my free time I enjoy baking, watching movies, listening to music, and being outdoors.
I look forward to working with your little little ones and helping them learn and grow.
|Ms Ghusoon she/her. Two-Year-Old Lead Teacher.|
|My name is Ghusoon Alhasani. I was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq. I moved to the USA with my husband and children. When I was a child, my dream was to be a teacher. I graduated from the Institute of Teachers Preparation and started teaching in 2011.
My family is everything to me. I like to spend time with them and take care of them like they are a part of my body. I like walking, shopping, traveling, and exploring new things. In my opinion, every day is a new day, and learn new things from the whole world around us.
|OUR TEACHING ASSISTANTS|
|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 five, Emersyn is 3 years and Dutton is 1 year old. 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. 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. I became a licensed foster parent in 2017 and adopted my son the summer of 2022. We love our sweet fur baby, a beautiful Shetland Sheep Dog (Sheltie) named Simba.|
|Ms. Lara she/her. Assistant Teacher, 2 years.|
|I've been at FUMP for a few years and love it so much! I got my bachelor's degree in education at the University of Texas in 2010. I'm married with three children who are now preteens and early teenagers. I enjoy knitting, singing, reading, camping, and playing with children. Thank you for trusting me with your children!|
|Ms. Frances she/her. Assistant Teacher, 5 years.|
|I have been teaching for seventeen years, and it has been rewarding and a constant growing experience. I've been living in Austin for twenty-five years and have four daughters. I enjoy gardening, taking care of my chickens and dogs.|
|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, and I am learning every day alongside 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.|
|Hello! This is my second year teaching at FUMP and I am so excited to have the opportunity to grow with your children and help them excel in life. I moved to Austin from New Orleans, Louisiana last spring and I am really enjoying my new city. In my spare time, I like to hike the trails at Lady Bird and paddle board in the creek. I also have a passion for collecting vintage clothing, going to music festivals (ACL) and traveling. I am currently studying Psychology with the hope of continuing to work with children in the school setting. I look forward to getting to know you and your children as the year goes on!|
|Ms. Marisol she/her. Teaching Assistant. First year.|
|Hello! I am excited to start my journey with FUMP. I've worked with children of all ages with my main focus being infants. I have 3 wonderful kids myself aged 8, 20 months and 8 weeks. They certainly keep me on my toes but I wouldn't change it for the world!
In my time away from work and kids, I love just sitting in a Cafe, enjoying a cup of coffee. Me and my partner play billiards competitively as well and we love taking our family and chiweenie on walks at the farmers market.
I am excited to return to teaching and I can't wait to meet your littles and help them grow.
|Ms. Mari she/her. Assistant Teacher, 7 years.|
|Hi. My name is Mari. This is my seventh year at FUMP and I am thrilled and excited to be back and able to support the lead teachers to educate children. I have been living in Austin for 38 years. I am fluent in Spanish. In my free time, I like to read, and listen to music. I'm looking forward to spending time with your child.
|Ms. Rosa. she/her FUMP Office Assistant. 14 years.|
|I am an Austin native and live with my 11 year old, Lina and 3 year old cat, Estrella. We are quite the homebodies for the most part, other wise you will find us eating at some of our favorite Asian spots around town. After spending 14 years in the classroom I decided to step into a new role working as an administrative assistant in the office. This will be the start of my 15th year at FUMP. The wonderful children and families and skilled co-workers have kept me returning every year. The memories I have made here are invaluable and am looking forward to making more this school year. Happy to be part of this beautiful community with you!|
|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|