Grace Lutheran Preschool
Grace Lutheran Preschool


Meet Our Teachers

Our teachers have more than 100 years of collective experience and are continually growing their knowledge and skills with ongoing education.

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Lisa Wheeler - preschool director

I have been a teacher at Grace Lutheran Preschool for 23 years and am now serving as the Preschool Director. I work with a team of amazing, creative, and dedicated teachers, I am excited to provide your family with a developmentally appropriate education for your child and an atmosphere of Christian love and Faith. The best part about working with young children is witnessing the love and joy that comes from within each child. Every day is filled with hugs and laughter. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Favorite Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 13:13: And now faith, hope and love remain, but the greatest of these is love.

Favorite snack: Popcorn.

Lisa has been a teacher for 25 years.



Room: Lime Room

Favorite subject to teach: I love teaching them how to write their name. They get so excited when they can finally do it by themselves.

Favorite Bible Verse: Philippians 4:13; I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

What makes Debbie proud of her students? I am proud of my students when I see them teaching another student something that I’ve already taught them. Sharing knowledge.

Favorite Snack: Apples with peanut butter.

Debbie has been teaching for 26 years.


Teri Martinez

Room: Violet Room

Favorite subject to teach: I love reading stories to the children & often incorporate an art project to go with that particular book. I also love teaching the alphabet & the sounds of each letter with special songs and hand movements.

Favorite Bible Verse: Jeremiah 29:11; For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

What makes Teri proud of her students? When I hear them talking amongst themselves about something they have learned in class, especially when its about being kind or being a good friend.

Favorite snack: I love Triscuits and all kinds of cheese! My favorite is probably gouda!

Teri has been teaching at Grace for 17 years and also taught at a preschool that had a working farm when she was younger.


Alex Cruz

Room: Lime Room

Favorite subject to teach: Art is my favorite subject to teach. I love watching the children’s imagination come to life and how they see the world through art.

Favorite Bible Verse: Mark 9:23; All things are possible to him who believes.

What makes Alex proud of her students? Watching them help out their classmates. Seeing our children take the initiative to stop what they are doing to help their friends is really rewarding to see.

Favorite Snack: Ritz crackers and garden vegetable cream cheese.

Alex has been teaching for a year and working with children for more than two.


Cassie Merwin

Room: White Room

Favorite subject to teach: My favorite skill to teach is Music and Movement because it is fun and I feel it is important in children’s development. I love using Music and Movement to work on body awareness, balance, listening and imagination.

Favorite Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 16:14; Let all that you do be done in love.

What makes Cassie proud of her students? I love when I see a concept “click” and they finally understand what we have been working on. The look of pride on their faces brings me such joy.

Favorite Snack: Pepsi with ice.

Cassie has been teaching preschool for 12 years.


Jessica Labrenz

Room: Violet Room / Front Office

Favorite subject to teach: I enjoy reading to the kids, especially the younger ones who get so excited. I also love teaching math!

Favorite Bible Verse: Psalm 91:4; He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge.

What makes Jessica proud of her students? Seeing there sense of accomplishment when they have finally figured out how to do something they have tried so hard to do,

Favorite snack: Cheese!

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Cassi Moreno

Room: White Room

Favorite subject to teach: Creative Art - because it allows children to express themselves. It engages their minds, bodies and senses. I also enjoy using this time to absorb them in language and vocabulary by describing what it is they are doing and asking questions so that they can connect words to actions. Creative arts invites them to observe, discuss, move and imagine.

Favorite Bible Verse: Proverbs 31:25; She is clothed in strength and dignity, and laughs without fear of the future.

What makes Cassi proud of her students? When they grasp a new concept or accomplish a goal we/they have been working towards. It’s also very rewarding to see their look of pride when they achieve a goal.

Favorite Snack: Chocolate covered almonds.

Cassi has 9 years of teaching experience.


Ivonne Garcia

Room: Navy Room

Favorite subject to teach: My favorite thing to teach the children is how to work on their fine motor skills by practicing through arts, crafts and sensory activities.

Favorite Bible Verse: Proverb 3:5-6; Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

What makes Ivonne proud of her students? Im proud of the children when they are learning how to potty train and achieving this with a big smile, saying “I did it!”

Favorite snack: Skinny Pop Popcorn

Ivonne has been teaching for 19 years.


Kimmy Howe

Room: Violet Room

Favorite subject to teach: I like to teach music and movement. I love to read stories to them and help them learn their ABC’s and other curriculum activities.

Favorite Bible Verse: Jeremiah 29:11; For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

What makes Kimmy proud of her students? When they are proud of something that I taught or showed them that they can now do by themselves.

Favorite snack: Chips and salsa

Kimmy has been teaching for 8 years.


Donava Palomino

Room: Navy Room

Favorite subject to teach: I love to do cooking and baking with the kids. They get so excited to help and even more excited to eat what they make.

Favorite Bible Verse: Psalms 46:30; If God is within her she will not fall.

What makes Donava proud of her students? When they accomplish a skill or task on their own and they yell out “I did it Miss Donava!”

Favorite snack: Something sweet and salty!

Donava has been teaching for 11 years.


Sonia garcia

Room: Yellow Room

Favorite subject to teach: One of my favorite subjects to teach is art. I strongly feel that preschooler’s early writing skills are developing by the various arts and crafts projects they do throughout the day. Art leads to math, science, literature, social interaction. Furthermore, children at this young age can find art as a way to creatively express their ideas.

Favorite Bible Verse: Luke 6:3; Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

What makes Sonia proud of her students? Children need to know that they have talents and gifts. They need to be secure in what they bring to this world. Instead of telling them that “I am so proud of them” I tell children that they should feel proud of themselves. Children need to be taught to feel pride in their efforts and accomplishments.

Favorite snack: I enjoy eating potato chips with salsa!

Sonia has been teaching for 10 years.