Staff

  

Diane Wikse

Director

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It has been my honor and privilege to serve as director here at FUMC Preschool since July 2006. Our Preschool Office is surrounded by the Play Yard, and so I get to participate in (and hear!) lots of interesting conversations and interactions all throughout my days here.

Before I came to FUMC I worked as a child development consultant with other child care programs and directed a new parents' program. I performed developmental screenings and made referrals. [If you ever have questions about a child's development, please ask!] And I designed and led developmental play programs using music and movement for young children in child care programs and in parent-child groups. My first job after Graduate School (M.Ed., Erikson Institute, Chicago) was as a "developmental play specialist." That's really how I continue to see myself-as focused on development and play. I hope you'll see we try to create a space and program where our children can develop all their skills through their rich play experiences here.

I grew up in the United Methodist Church as a "P.K." (Preacher's Kid), so I feel very much at home here. It's nice to be able to integrate my work with children and families within a United Methodist church community-especially one where the members have opened their doors to the wider community in order to support families with young children.

I like to ride my bike to work several days a week and I am learning how to play the classical guitar. My husband, Jack, is a political science professor and our daughter has just recently become a teacher!

 

 

Joanne Welch

Butterfly Teacher - 3 to 4 year old class

I've been lucky enough to spend my days at our preschool for the past 16 years! Having worked in the 2 year old, 3 year old, and now 4 year old/Pre-K class, I pride myself in helping to create a loving, safe, supportive environment for our children. I enjoy getting to know our families. Our entire staff is a dedicated bunch and a great group to work with.

I have my Bachelor's degree in Child Development from CSU, Chico. I'm married and have two grown sons. In my spare time I love to hike in the redwoods, take my local walks, read and spend time with family.

 

 

Denise Wertz

Butterfly Teacher - 3 to 4 year old class

I have been teaching here at FUMC Preschool since 2006. I have a Bachelor's degree in Studio Art from Sonoma State University. I received my Early Childhood education units from Santa Rosa Junior College. I also have a 1 year Bible certificate from Capernwray Bible College. I attended the campuses in Carnforth, England and Schladming, Austria. Early Literacy is one of my passions and I worked for a year with Americorp as a reading tutor at a local elementary school before becoming a full-time preschool teacher.

I love to travel, paint, do all manner of arts and crafts, read and work in the garden. It's wonderful to be able to bring all of my interests into the classroom and create a rich, varied, fun, loving and safe place for the children to explore and learn in. I thoroughly enjoy working here with the wonderful, supportive staff and all of our great children and families!

 

Linda Dunbar

Caterpillar Teacher - 2 to young 3 year old class

I have been working with children and families for the past 40 years. I have a BA in Liberal Studies from Sonoma State University and a California State Junior College teaching credential in Child Development. I co-teach the Dragonfly - 2 year old class with Debbie Howes. Debbie and I have been team teaching for three years and we have been friends for many years. We make a great team!

I enjoy spending time with my granddaughters. I am teaching them the domestic arts: cooking and sewing. I love being outdoors, I like walking, swimming and gardening. I am an active member of the First United Methodist Church. I serve on the Children's Commission and on the Worship Commission.

 

Debbie Howes

Caterpillar Teacher - 2 to young 3 year old class

I received my Early Childhood Development Education at Santa Rosa Junior College but it seems to me that I have learned so much more from the staff of highly devoted, caring teachers that I work with each day.

In my seventeen years at FUMC Preschool I have had the pleasure of teaching all three age groups but it is the 2 year olds who have stolen my heart. I feel blessed that I co-teach with Ms Linda, who brings 40 years of experience and has taught me the joys of working with 2 year olds and their families. I enjoy sharing the experience with Ms Linda of facilitating activities and watching the 2 year olds learn and explore the world around them.

It is hard for me to convince my family that I go to work each day when they hear about me sliding down a slide, doing crafts, making a sand castle in the mud, or my favorite, playing with puppets. I am truly blessed I enjoy my job. 

 

Elizabeth Walton

Teacher

I have been a teacher at FUMC Preschool since the spring of 2006. I came to the school through my church affiliation of FUMC where I have been a member since 2001. My oldest son, Jacob, was attending the 3 year old class where I learned of an opening on the Preschool Board of Directors for the Vice Presidency. After nearly a year serving on the Board, a teaching position in the Dragonfly - 2 year old class became available. I could now put my many years of Childhood Education to good use, not to mention my Elementary Education credential.

In the past four yeas at FUMC Preschool I have been a Dragonfly - 2 year old teacher, an office assistant, and am currently rotating through all of the classes on an as-needed basis.

Personally, I have been married to my husband "Tree" for 9 years, with whom I have two sons. Jacob, 7, a second grade student at JX Wilson and Jordan, 2, a new addition to the Dragonfly class, are the lights of my life.

 

Lupe Nolan

Spanish Teacher

I have been working at FUMC Preschool for about six years. I have a BA in Liberal Studies. I have worked with children of all ages from preschool to high school. All together I have worked in education for fourteen years and out of those years I still love working with the little ones best. I am currently the Spanish teacher here at FUMC. I really enjoy teaching the preschoolers Spanish and having them learn through a song or a game that will help them remember the words I taught them. The rewarding part of all this is listening to the children speaking Spanish to each other or asking me "how do you say...". I love that. They are the reason I love doing my job.

 

 

 

 

Xinia Gamero Rosales

Teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delia Lopez de Rizo

Teacher

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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