Teachers and Staff

 

We have a wonderful, dedicated group of teachers and staff at Manoa Nursery School. We are eager to get to know you and your child. 

Tami Funch, Director
Tami Funch, Director of Manoa Nursery School

Tami has held several roles at MNS. She has taught the Me-Too class and the 5-day class. This is her eighth year as Director. All three of her daughters attended the school. Tami holds a Bachelors in Education/Math from SUNY Fredonia and a Masters in Education from Canisius College, Buffalo New York.

 

Favorite thing about the school year: watching the children grow and seeing how much they learn. It's also wonderful to see how happy the parents are with their child's experience here.

 

I love it when I see the children: try new things, and work at it and see success. They are so proud (and they should be!) and gain so much confidence in their abilities!

 

Rachel Buttner
Stella Crespo
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Rachel serves Manoa Nursery School as a two-day lead teacher. 

Favorite verse: 1 Peter 5:7 "Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you."

Favorite thing about the school year: Using one on one time during crafts to get to know the kids individually.

I love it when I see the children: put into practice skills and concepts they have learned in the classroom.

Stella has been at Manoa Nursery School since September 2019, one year after her youngest daughter graduated from MNS. She is the teacher assistant in the 5 day class with Dotty Kelly. In 2015, she moved from Brazil to the USA with her husband and two daughters.

 

Favorite thing about the school year: how the children learn and become confident.

 

I love it when I see the children: sharing toys and playing together.

Mindy Davis

This is Mindy’s first year at MNS; she is thrilled to be a part of the life of a Christian preschool closer to home! She is lead teacher in the 3-day class. After she graduated from Penn State, Mindy taught Kindergarten in the Haverford Township Public School System. While raising their three children, she went back to school and received her Masters in Language Arts/Literacy from Arcadia University. Most recently, she taught Pre-Kindergarten at Preschool in theValley for nine years (Malvern, PA). She and her husband, Chris are the parents of three grown children. Mindy and her husband have been active members of Media Presbyterian Church for over thirty years.

 

Favorite Bible Verse: When you talk, do not say harmful things. But say what people need—words that will help others become stronger. Ephesians 4:29

 

Favorite thing about the school year: taking time to get to know each child individually—the people who are most important to him/her, the snacks he/she prefers, the things that make him/her laugh, discovering his/her God-given strengths and discovering the areas where we can help each child grow.

 

I love it when I see the children: using their words to build relationships as they learn to effectively communicate their wants and needs in a kind manner.

Colleen Egelkamp

Colleen has been with Manoa for over 10 years as an assistant in the Me Too and 5 day classes. She currently teaches in the 2 day class. She taught Sunday School for 2’s and 3’s and 3rd-5th grade. Her favorite verse is Psalm 118:24: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Favorite thing about the school year: seeing how much the kids have grown since September.

I love it when I see the children: start to learn to care for one another and work together.

Dotty Kelly

Dotty has been teaching at Manoa for over 10 years, working as a Me Too teacher’s aide, substitute teacher, 3-day teacher and now 5-day (Pre-K). She holds a B.A. from Drexel University in Home Economics Education. All three of her children attended MNS from 1994-2001. She attends Crossroads Community Church as has taught Sunday School for K-1st grade since she was 17 years old. She directed the Pioneer Club for 21 years and now leads a Good News Club for CEF.

 

Favorite thing about the school year: seeing the children grow through the year in all areas of life — socially, academically and spiritually. Sharing the love of God with the kids and their families.

 

I love it when I see the children: helping out a buddy, taking an interest in each other, sharing God's love. Also, their delight when they learn a new skill.

Helen
Schiazza
 

Helen has been with Manoa Nursery School for more than 3 years and is the lead teacher with the 3-day class. Helen holds a B.A. from Rosemont College in Education and Psychology and has also taught kindergarten in Lenni, PA.  She has two daughters of her own and attends Calvary Chapel of Delaware County. Her favorite verse is, (Philippians 4:8). “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things and the God of peace will be with you”.

 

Favorite thing about the school year: playing with the children and watching them grow from the first day of school until the last! 

I love it when I see the children: Smile and come into the classroom and  are so happy to make a new friend! 

Claudia Frein

Claudia has been at Manoa Nursery School since 2011, right after her youngest child graduated from MNS. She has served in the roles of Teacher Aid and is currently Assistant Director. She has a bachelor's degree in Literature and Theology from Villanova University.

Favorite thing about the school year: watching the children prepare for and perform at special events such the Thanksgiving and Christmas programs, and Mother's Tea.


I love it when I see the children: showing kindness to each other and the respect they show to the teachers. And most of all, to see them have fun and enjoy school.

Jeannine Loughran

Jeannine began teaching at Manoa Nursery School in 2006 as a helper teacher in the Me Too class. Over the years she’s had the opportunity to be a helper in the Me Too, 5 Day, 3 Day, 2 Day, and Lunch Bunch classes. She taught the gym class for several years and also led the former Extended Day class. After taking time off to have her daughter, she’s returned to the school along with her daughter, who is now a student and is teaching in the 3- day class.

Favorite thing about the school year: If I had to choose just one, I’d say it’s getting to know the children. As a helper I’m often in charge of the craft. I take that time to chat with each child, to discover their favorite things to do and learn about their family and pets. It’s a great time to bond and I look forward to it each year. 

I love it when I see the children: grow and learn!  There is often such a dramatic change from the first day of school to the last. I really enjoy getting to see the changes in them, as they grow more confident, as they develop deeper friendships, as they become more vocal.  At this age children are learning so much and so very quickly. To get to witness that change throughout the school year is a true blessing!

Laura Reist
 
Laura Reist, lead teacher for 4-year-old class

Laura has worked at Manoa for more than 5 years, teaching gym and currently lead teacher for the 3-day class. She grew up in the south of France.

 

Her favorite Bible verse is Zephaniah 3:17: “The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing."

 

Favorite thing about the school year: having fun with the kids while they learn and grow.

 

I love it when I see the children: grow in friendship and really show love and concern for each other.