You are here: / Meet our Teachers
|Our teachers and staff|
|Sandy K. Pennington, Preschool Director, 19 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 am married with two sons, a daughter, and a six-year-old grandson. I spend my time with family, friends, following the Texas Tech marching band(!), reading, and exercising.
|Ms Erin, PreKindergarten Lead Teacher, 16 years|
|About Ms. Erin
I am a veteran teacher of 21 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 18th 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, Threes Lead Teacher, 21 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 8-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, Twos Lead Teacher, 8 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."
|Ms. Adrian. Toddlers, Lead Teacher, 11 years.|
|About Ms. Adrian
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. Rosa, Infant Lead Teacher, 13 years.|
|About Ms. Rosa
This will be my thirteeth year teaching at FUMP. I have had several positive experiences with younger children since childhood and throughout my studies, but nothing compares to the years I have spent here. I am a lucky mother to a third grader. When we aren't visiting our beloved family and friends, we enjoy spending our time cuddling at home watching TV, or reading a good book.
|What our parents say
"Rosa is very knowledgeable about babies' development and needs. She doesn't baby-sit the kids but really puts effort into caring for them, teaching them, giving them experiences, and helping them grow. My child isn't always happy to be dropped off at other places, but she LOVES school. She runs into the room ready to interact and explore, which assures me that she feels safe, loved, challenged, and stimulated."
|OUR TEACHING ASSISTANTS|
|Ms. Marla, PreKindergarten Assistant Teacher, 21 years|
|About Ms. Marla
I have been part of the FUMP family since 1998, first as a parent of a two-year-old boy, then as a floater, and then as an assistant to a newly hired teacher from Nashville, Tennessee, Ms. Erin! We have taught together for 12 years. In total, I have 22 years of experience teaching preschool. Prior to teaching, I worked for many years in the business world. I'm a native Austinite, a UT alum,
have been married 34 years to an east coast guy, who teaches at St. Edward's University. I have a 24-year-old son who is currently in Washington, DC. I love being a teacher at FUMP, I enjoy cooking, antiques, and reading (non-fiction). I'm excited and look forward to spending time with your children.
|Ms Mari, Two-year-old Assistant Teacher, 6 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 35 years. I am fluent in Spanish. I have been married for 18 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. Toddlers Assistant Teacher, 6 years.|
|Hi there! My name is Janie. I am excited to be starting my sixth year with the outstanding group of early childhood educators. I have my Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from LSU. I have 40 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 granddaughters. They are the joy of my life - Lily is three and Emersyn is 1.5 years. 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.|
|Ms. Lara. Infant Assistant Teacher, 1 year.|
|This is my second year to teach 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 7 (Yukon), 8 (Mary), and 11 (April). I enjoy knitting, singing, reading, camping, and playing with children.|
|Ms. Frances. Infant Assistant Teacher, 4 years.|
|Ms. Keely, Threes Assistant Teacher, 1 year.|
|This will be my second 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 (8), a son (5), 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. Gina, Office Assistant, 6 years.|
|I am thrilled to be part of this wonderful FUMP family. My role at the preschool is the FUMP Office Assistant. I spent several years as an assistant and had the privilege of substituting throughout the various classrooms and meeting all age groups. I am a native Texan and a graduate of North Texas State with a BA in Business and Marketing. My business career took me into business security and office management; but I have such joy being here at FUMP with the children. My husband (Brad) and I have two sons, two rescue dogs, and one spoiled cat. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, hiking, gardening, movies, board games and spending time with my husband and boys.|
|Lara Greene, 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.|
First United Methodist Preschool
1201 Lavaca St. | Austin, TX 78701
Log in to update your child’s information, see your bill, and more on our SANDBOX SOFTWARE PARENT PORTAL.