I started as an assistant teacher in 2001 and became a Lead Teacher in 2004.
In February 2014, I became the Director, but I still teach in each classroom from time to time! I graduated from KU with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education. I love working with kids, and I loved all of my years as a teacher. I loved planning a curriculum for them and teaching them new and exciting things. I am working hard at making our wonderful program even better. In my spare time, I like spending time with my friends and family. I love music, reading, movies, playing tennis, and watching sports.
Lead Teacher, 3-4 year old class
I graduated from KU in 2007 with a double major in Psychology and Child Care and Development. I have been teaching at FLEEC for almost 5 years. My passion in life is teaching and spending time with the children. Seeing them learn and grow brings me such great joy. I grew up on a farm in Northeast Kansas and moved to the Kansas City Metro 6 years ago. I got married in 2011 to my amazing husband Erik. We have a 1 year old son named Weston. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, riding my bike, walking my dog Linus and eating out at fun new restaurants.
Lead Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten class
I have worked at FLEEC since it opened in 2005. Before that, I worked at Zion Preschool off and on for 10 years. I graduated from KU in 2002 with a major in Human Development and Family Life. My passion is working with children and watching them grow. I love the Jayhawks and all college sports! I got married in 2007. I have 2 sons, Max and Quinn. They are the loves of my life. I like to hang out with friends and family, go to music festivals and sporting events!
Lead Teacher, 2-3 year old class
I graduated from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas in 2013 with a degree in Early Childhood Education. During college I interned with mostly fourth and fifth graders and thought for sure that I wanted to teach upper elementary once I graduated. Turns out that was not what was written in the stars, and upon graduating, I landed a job at a child development center working in a 2-3 year old classroom. I fell in love with that age group and worked at the center for two years before moving to Oklahoma. While living there, I taught Kindergarten for a year before moving again, this time to Kansas. I am so excited to be here at First Lutheran back with the age group that I love! In my free time I enjoy reading mystery novels, going to the movies, and spending time with my family and my four crazy cats! I miss Texas a bunch, but I am glad to call Kansas my new home.
Assistant Teacher, 2-3 year old class
I graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor's in Psychology and a minor in Communication. Prior to going to Missouri State, I worked at a Child Development Center in a 2-3 year old classroom. After graduating, I stayed in Springfield, MO to work at a school for children with Autism and extreme behaviors. I am originally from St. Louis and recently moved to the KC area for my husband's job. We just got married in September '17! I love working with kids and witnessing their progress as they grow and learn. In my free time I enjoy staying active, adventuring, reading, and making trips to STL to see friends and family.
I grew up in Columbia, Missouri and moved to Kansas City in 2002 to attend UMKC's Bloch School of Business. I worked through college as a nanny and decided to continue working with children after I graduated. I enjoy helping young children and watching them grow and learn. In my free time I enjoy playing trivia with friends, attending concerts, photographing bands, and going to movies. I live with my two cats, Stella and Mini.
Hello, my name is Simone Martinez and I am excited to be caring for all of your children at FLEEC! I earned my degree at National American University majoring in Business Administration. I am currently attending Metropolitan Community College to earn my degree in the Arts of the Teaching program. I have over 10 years of experience in working with children of all ages. I enjoy working with children and watching them grow and learn. They make me laugh and they are such a joy to be around; they are the highlight of my day! My husband’s name is Eric and I have a daughter named Maya and a three-legged dog named Buster.
Substitute Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten class
I am a proud teacher of the 4 and 5 year olds. My career at FLEEC/Zion started back in 1982 as an after-school kindergarten teacher. Since then I have enjoyed 32 rewarding years of childcare experience. I attended high school and 2 years of business school in my home country of Bolivia, South America. I have taken English courses at JCCC. My hobbies are music, dancing, reading, listening to talk radio, and spending time with my grandson, John. The most rewarding part of my job is the one-on-one time that I get with the children. I love to learn about their interests, care for them, and meet their needs with lots of love. I enjoy preparing them for the road ahead!
Floating Teacher/Substitute Teacher
I am married and have one son. My son was a primary inspiration for me to enter the teaching profession since I enjoyed helping him develop the language and social skills necessary for a strong educational foundation. As a teacher, I love reading stories to children to promote their language development and also using hands-on activities to foster creativity and develop large and small muscle motor skills. My educational background includes a BA degree in sociology and a minor in Psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma. In 2006, I earned a degree in Child Development from Penn Valley Community College and later completed my AAS in Early Childhood Education from Penn Valley in 2009. I was on the faculty of the Brookside Early Learning Center from 1989-2013. My personal interests include gardening, reading, old movies, antique store shopping, and traveling.