The Teaching Staff at Bethlehem

Bethlehem prides itself on having a dedicated, highly trained, nurturing staff who care about each and every child. Our staff have a combined total of 63 years of experience at Bethlehem Child Care Center. Some have been with us since our beginning in 1982!

Each staff member is carefully screened and background checks are conducted before they can begin teaching. Our staff complete many hours of ongoing training each year and all teaching staff are certified in CPR and First Aid.

Beginners

Lead: Ms. Melissa

Lead: Ms. Melissa

Ms. Melissa’s Bio

My first experience with BCCC was as a parent in 2005. I have two children, ages 16 and 13, both graduates of the Bethlehem Preschool program. I loved BCCC so much that I joined the staff in September 2009 as an Assistant Teacher in the Beginner’s classroom. Prior to working at BCCC, I worked with special needs children for 10 years.

I grew up on an organic, family farm in southern Minnesota, which was and still is a big part of my life. I am passionate about the environment and LOVE teaching children about nature! I graduated from Hamline University with a BA in Environmental Science and Cultural Anthropology and was a Program Director for an Environmental non-profit before having children.

My family lives right here in the Longfellow neighborhood, which is lovely as I can walk, bike or snow shoe to school! As I mentioned, my husband John and I have two children, Ian and Thalie and a dog, named Neville Longbottom. We are outdoor enthusiasts, enjoying biking, hiking, skiing and camping. I am very much looking forward to getting to know you and your children!

Ms. Arokey

Ms. Arokey

Ms. Arokey’s Bio

I started working at BCCC in 2016 as a high school aide. Upon graduating in the class of 2017 from South High School, I started working as an adult aide and took courses in Early Childhood Education at MCTC. I’m the oldest of 6 siblings and grew up in South Minneapolis. In my free time I like to travel, and spend time with my friends, family and my cat, Louie!

Ms. Laura

Ms. Laura

Ms. Laura’s Bio

I first heard of BCCC as a teenager while attending Bethlehem Covenant Church with my parents. My first job in high school was as an aside in the preschool classroom after school. Then 5 of my children attended Preschool at BCCC. I am happy to return now as a Teacher.

I am coming from teaching Infants and Toddlers for the past couple years at another child care center. Before that I spent many years raising my children and volunteering at church teaching both Sunday School and Vacation Bible School.

I live in Saint Paul near the Stare Fair ground with my husband, 3 of my children, 2 dogs, and a hedgehog. I have 7 children: Savannah (25), Aaron (23), Anjali (21), Arissa (19), Arianna (15), Amelia (8), and Abigail (7). Two of my girls are married. I also have a granddaughter who was born in early 2018. Most of my time away from work is spent doing activities with my children and loving on my granddaughter.

Pre-K, Group A

Lead: Ms. Amanda

Lead: Ms. Amanda

Ms. Amanda’s Bio

I began working at BCCC as an adult aide in the Beginner’s classroom in 2006. It was during this time that I found my calling to become a teacher. While working at Bethlehem, I attended St. Paul College and received my A.S. in Early Childhood Education. I taught for two years as a lead preschool teacher before deciding to leave to pursue my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Early Childhood from Central Michigan University. After graduating in May of 2016, I was privileged to be given the opportunity to return and become a part of the Bethlehem team of educators!

I am a native Minnesotan and although I have on occasion lived out of state, I always find my way back. I grew up in the southeastern portion of the state and have wonderful memories of hiking the state park trails and exploring the shore of Lake Superior. I am an avid collector of books and am always on the lookout to add to my collection.

As a teacher, I have the dual role of teacher and learner. As I try to guide students on their journey of learning, I am also a student of my own students. My goal is to understand their strengths, areas of weakness, what motivates them, what frustrates them, and through learning about them as individuals, be able to support them in their endeavors. Opening student’s reception to the idea of becoming life-long learners is one of my main goals by stimulating their sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them. As Dorothy Parker puts it, “The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

Ms. Ashley

Ms. Ashley

Ms. Ashley’s Bio

I started here at BCCC in 2006 as a high school aide. I grew up in the Longfellow area and attended South High. I am now enjoying my time as an Assistant Teacher with Pre-K and as a Lead Teacher with the School-age K-2 children. I enjoy making and seeing the kids laugh, as well as watching them learn and explore. When I’m not at BCCC, I enjoy spending time with my cats, Luna Lovegood and Princess Celestia. I have also recently become an avid knitter, which I add to my hobbies of reading, painting and drawing.

Ms. Janine

Ms. Janine

Ms. Janine’s Bio

I have three sons who all attended Bethlehem starting in 2002. They all loved preschool! Prior to having children I was an elementary school teacher. In 2011 I began to substitute teach here at Bethlehem and then Jill asked if I would like to work in the office and that is how I became the part-time office assistant!

Pre-K, Group B

Lead: Ms. Rosemary

Lead: Ms. Rosemary

Ms. Rosemary Bio

I began my work at BCCC in 2006 as the afternoon Preschool Teacher. Since 2010 I have been the Lead Teacher in Pre K B. I have 42 years’ experience in the early childhood field, as a classroom teacher with infants, toddlers, preschoolers and school age children. I was a director of two programs in the metro area, and worked as the Training Coordinator for a Child Care/Resource and Referral agency for over 5 years. After all that administrative work I discovered that being in the classroom is “where I want to be,” as Mr. Plumbean says.

I live in the Corcoran neighborhood in South Minneapolis with my husband Tom and two cats, George and Martha. We have two grown children and three grandchildren!

I am active in my church as a Godly Play teacher and am also a member of the Twin Cities Puppeteers. Puppetry is one of my favorite things, and I enjoy sharing stories and puppets with the children at BCCC. Fostering creativity and a lively and inquisitive mind and spirit are important in my daily work with your children.

Ms. Karen

Ms. Karen

Ms. Karen’s Bio

I am an Assistant Teacher in the Pre-K B classroom. I have been working at Bethlehem since 2013 and enjoy my fellow staff and our families.

I attended the U of MN and received my B.S. in Child Psychology, and Pre-K and Early Childhood Special Education license. I have been working in the Early Education field for thirty years.

I have a teen-age son and we live in South Minneapolis. We enjoy watching and playing baseball, soccer, football, and basketball. We have fun playing board games and spending time with friends and neighbors. I am an avid reader and we enjoy our local libraries.

School Age: K-2nd & 3rd-5th

Co-Lead: Ms. Ashley

Co-Lead: Ms. Ashley

Ms. Ashley’s Bio

I started here at BCCC in 2006 as a high school aide. I grew up in the Longfellow area and attended South High. I am now enjoying my time as an Assistant Teacher with Pre-K and as a Lead Teacher with the School-age K-2 children. I enjoy making and seeing the kids laugh, as well as watching them learn and explore. When I’m not at BCCC, I enjoy spending time with my cats, Luna Lovegood and Princess Celestia. I have also recently become an avid knitter, which I add to my hobbies of reading, painting and drawing.

Co-Lead: Ms. Nina

Co-Lead: Ms. Nina

Nina’s Bio

I am excited to introduce myself as one of the newest staff members at BCCC. I find joy in getting to know each and every learner (young and old) that I encounter at Bethlehem. I’m a South Minneapolis girl, born and raised. I, like many others graduated from South High School. Upon graduation I attended North Central University where I earned a BA in Youth Developmental Studies. My first Child Care experience was working as a sub (birth through school age) and later as an Assistant Preschool Teacher for the YWCA preschool program. Shortly after getting married in 2006 I began work with the MPLS Public Schools Teen Parent Services (formally TAPPP). I worked as an Assistant Preschool Teacher and then as a Toddler Teacher, eventually leading my own Toddler Classroom. After ten years with the schools I decided to take a break from education and join the corporate workforce. This break lasted all of six months as I soon began to miss the kids! It was then that I heard about an opening at Bethlehem and here I am! I have many friends that have or have had children attend the preschool program here and they all love it! My husband and I live in the Longfellow neighborhood with our two cats Pippin and Sugar. We love taking trips together. I also enjoy long walks, reading non-fiction, and baking anything with chocolate as a main ingredient!

Ms. Kelly’s Bio

I grew up in Richfield and graduated Richfield High School in 2008. In high school I played basketball and softball. I also did 700 hours of community volunteering just my senior year – I love to help others in need!

I then went to Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie. I graduated with my 2 year degree in Child Development. I have been a teacher in child care centers for 8 years and love working with children.

Some things I like to do are to deer hunt, fish, ski and snowboard. I also like to knit and can food.

Support Staff

Ms. Sue

Ms. Sue

Ms. Kelly

Ms. Kelly

Ms. Kelly’s Bio

I grew up in Richfield and graduated Richfield High School in 2008. In high school I played basketball and softball. I also did 700 hours of community volunteering just my senior year – I love to help others in need!

I then went to Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie. I graduated with my 2 year degree in Child Development. I have been a teacher in child care centers for 8 years and love working with children.

Some things I like to do are to deer hunt, fish, ski and snowboard. I also like to knit and can food.

Ms. Kourtney

Ms. Kourtney

Ms. Chandra

Ms. Chandra

Ms. Kira

Ms. Kira

Ms. Addie

Ms. Addie

Office Assistant

Ms. Janine

Ms. Janine

Ms. Janine’s Bio

I have three sons who all attended Bethlehem starting in 2002. They all loved preschool! Prior to having children I was an elementary school teacher. In 2011 I began to substitute teach here at Bethlehem and then Jill asked if I would like to work in the office and that is how I became the part-time office assistant!

Director

Ms. Jill

Ms. Jill

Ms. Jill’s Bio

I have been working at BCCC since the fall of 2006 when I started as their Pre-K teacher. My own daughter was in my class. Late the following spring I was hired as the director and have been in this role ever since. Previous to working at BCCC I taught Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade in Minneapolis Public Schools for 12 years.

I live in the Longfellow neighborhood with my husband Ron, daughters Nadia (actually off to college) and Adelaide, our dog, Bella, and a rabbit named Norbert Floyd. In my free time I enjoy baking & decorating sugar cookies, and then biking and working out to offset my first enjoyment!