|Our teachers and staff|
|Sandy K. Pennington she/her. Preschool Director, 21 years. Favorite Things|
|I am so proud to be the director of First United Methodist Preschool. This is my 21st year as director, with another five years as a teaching assistant at FUMP while attending college. I have my degree in Child and Family Development from Texas State University. My husband and I have four adult children, which keeps us busy. I spend time with family and friends, reading, and exercising, especially with our German Shorthaired Pointer.|
|Ms. Rosa. she/her Assistant Director, 15 years. Favorite Things|
|I am an Austin native and live with my 12-year-old, Lina, and 4-year-old cat, Estrella. We are quite the homebodies, for the most part; otherwise, 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 as an administrative assistant in the office. This will be the start of my 15th year at FUMP. The wonderful children, families, and skilled teachers have kept me returning every year. The memories I have made here are invaluable, and I look forward to making more this school year. Happy to be part of this beautiful community with you!|
|Ms. Stacy she/her. Pre Kindergarten Lead Teacher, 24 years. Favorite Things|
|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. Keely she/her. Twos Lead Teacher, 5 years. Favorite Things|
|This will be my fifth year with FUMP and I could not be more excited! I am a wife and a mother to a daughter (11), a son (8), a dog, and two cats. In addition to spending time with my family, I enjoy reading, crafting, and living room dance parties.
I was formally trained in business, via a bachelor’s degree (BBA) in international business from SFA and a master's degree in public administration (MPA) from College of CharlestonMost recently, I obtained a Childhood Development Associate (CDA) credential and I eventually plan to follow up with an early childhood teaching certification through the state. It was through my son’s attendance at FUMP that I found my calling to the field of Early Childhood Education.
My philosophy on education is heavily child-led, individualized, and firmly based in play. I take great care in presenting my friends with a multitude of play activities geared towards developing the whole child into functional, successful community citizens. Learning can take place in generally all situations and I delight in seeing how your children progress over time. I look forward to working with your precious littles and helping them grow in a FUN, safe, and nurturing environment.
|Ms. Shannon she/her. Toddler Lead Teacher, 2 years. Favorite Things|
|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. Jojo she/her. Threes Lead Teacher, First Year. Favorite Things|
|I’m originally from Montgomery Alabama but moved to Austin in August of 1991. Graduated from Pflugerville High School May 1997 and I served in the Army Reserves for six years. I currently have my CDA and currently in school obtaining my BA in Early Childhood Education Administration. I have three beautiful children two sons and a daughter and I have a grandson on the way. I have been in the childcare field for 25 years and I love what I do children are my passion. I’m super excited to be a part of the FUMC family.|
|Ms. Erica she/her. Twos Lead Teacher, 2 years. Favorite Things|
|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. Lizbeth she/her. Twos Lead Teacher, First year. Favorite Things|
|My teaching career started 6 years ago in a Montessori school as an assistant guide but after going through many trainings and courses I became a Lead Guide in less than 2 years. I am thrilled to be joining FUMP and all the wonderful team of amazing teachers. I believe every child is unique and deserves a caring, inspiring, and engaging atmosphere in which to grow emotionally, intellectually, and socially. I am looking forward to making new memories! I was born in Mexico but raised here in Austin. I am a mother to two wonderful girls: Sophia (8) and Amy (1). My husband, Jonathan, and I have been together for 10 years now. Outside of school I love spending time with my family, traveling, and exploring new places.|
|Ms. Audra she/her. Assistant Teacher, First year. Favorite Things|
|I am on my first year as a teacher at FUMP and I could not be more excited!
I am originally from San Antonio, but moved to Austin to attend and graduate from St. Edward’s University just down the road! I have three years of experience as a preschool teacher, primarily working with infants and young toddlers! I don’t have kids of my own yet, but I do have two fur babies: a loving chiweenie named Kobi, and I recently adopted a sweet kitten named Jax! In my free time, I love to travel as well as spend time in nature camping, hiking, and taking photos! I am also a huge foodie, so I am big on trying new places to eat around Austin!
I am super excited to continue my journey in childcare, simply because I believe every child deserves an enriching environment where they can learn and grow, as well as feel safe and loved. I look forward to meeting you and your little ones!
|OUR TEACHING ASSISTANTS|
|Ms. Janie she/her. Assistant Teacher, 8 years. Favorite Things|
|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.|
|Ms. Mari she/her. Assistant Teacher, 8 years. Favorite Things|
|Hi. My name is Mari. This is my eighth year at FUMP. I am thrilled and excited to be back to support the lead teachers 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.|
|Mr. Daviss he/him. Assistant Teacher, 6 years. Favorite Things|
|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. Frances she/her. Assistant Teacher, 7 years. Favorite Things|
|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.|
|Ms. Sebrina she/her. Assistant Teacher. First Year. Favorite Things|
|Hello, my name is Sebrina this is my first year at FUMP. I’ve been teaching for 7 years now and enjoy about every age group. I was born and raised in Austin. I enjoy going on walks and spending time with my daughter. Soon to be mommy of two. I look forward to growing with FUMP and all the children I’ll get the opportunity to interact with.|
|Ms. Jessica she/her. Assistant Teacher. First Year. Favorite Things|
|Before assistant teaching, I came to FUMP first as a parent who chose to enroll my son in the two's classroom. Our family had a wonderful first year at FUMP. I am so excited to be here now as an Assistant Teacher while both of my children Ella (1) and Drew (3) attend as students! My prior career was in technology and before that higher education administration. I did my undergraduate degree all the way in Scotland at the University of St Andrews and my MBA at the University of Iowa. I have lived in Austin for 3.5 years with my husband and children.|
|Ms. Isabella she/her. Floater, First Year. Favorite Things|
|Hello! My name is Isabella and I’m so excited to be back at FUMP this year! Currently, I am a student at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Kinesiology. I’ve always loved working with children, and I plan on continuing to work with them in my future. In addition to being at FUMP on the weekdays, I also work in the childcare classrooms at FUMC on Sundays. Feel free to say “Hi!” if you see me there! Thank you for trusting me with your little ones, and I hope to have a great time together!|
|Photo coming Soon|
|Teacher Shirlz she/they. Floater. First year. Favorite Things|
|Bio Coming Soon|
|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|