Teacher / Staff Spotlight

 
MDO Teacher Spotlight
Stephanie Martinka
This week we feature our incredibly talented, creative, and fun Chapel, Worship, and Music Leader, Mrs. Stephanie Martinka.
Stephanie always plans very visual and hands-on chapel lessons that make our weekly Bible lessons easy to understand and memorable for our students. She also picks the best songs to sing and dance to during our weekly music time where we praise and worship our Lord Jesus through song. Stephanie has 13 years of childcare experience as both an MDO teacher and a nanny. She is a 2005 graduate of Belton High School and went on to further her education at Mary Hardin-Baylor. She is proud to be a farmer’s wife and she and her husband, Matt have been married for seven years. They are members of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Corn Hill and make their home in Bartlett with their two boys, ages 5 and 2. Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing your beautiful voice and joyful personality with us at FUMC! Please check out our album on this page “Chapel Time” for just a few examples of the fun times we have with Mrs. Stephanie!

 



Teacher / Staff Spotlight

MDO Teacher Spotlight
Julia Coward

Today we highlight our fabulous Toddler class aide, Miss Julia. We were blessed to add Julia to our team this spring as our Toddler class began to grow with happy, new babies. Mrs. Brenda and Miss Julia do an art project every single day at MDO and Julia loves to do art with the babies! Julia is a 2016 graduate of Taylor High School and currently attends Austin Community College. She hopes to teach Pre-K or Kindergarten with a specialization in deaf education. She has worked in the nursery for the past six years right here at First United Methodist and has been a member of FUMC for the past seven years. We are so blessed that Julia joined our team! Thank you, Julia, for loving our sweet babies and toddlers at FUMC!

 
 


Teacher / Staff Spotlight

Teacher Spotlight
Catharena Rydell
Two Year Old Class Aide

This week we feature our magnificent aide, Catharena (Miss Cat). We were blessed to have this wonderful lady join our team this November and we’re not sure how we ever survived without her! She and Mrs. Lisa make a great team as they teach God’s Word to our friends in the Two year old class. Mrs. Cat has worked with children many years, including teaching the two year old class previously, right here at FUMC several years ago for two school years. She worked for six years in Hearne ISD in the Behavioral Department for the district’s elementary schools, and has worked caring for the elderly for the past eight years. She and her husband, Lance, who is a teacher at Taylor Middle School, have been married 22 years and they attend Hutto Lutheran Church, where Cat has been a Sunday School teacher for many years. They have two daughters, one finishing her first year of college and one in fifth grade. We are so very happy that Cat chose to become part of our family at FUMC! She is such a blessing to the children, families, and teachers here and we love her dearly! Thank you, Mrs. Cat, for making our days so much brighter!

 


Teacher / Staff Spotlight

Teacher Spotlight
Toddler Teacher
Brenda Shelton

Our wonderful Miss Brenda is such a special blessing to our school! She loves the little friends in her class and is always prepared with the best activities to meet the individual needs of each child in the toddler class. Brenda was born and lived in Austin most of her life, but she now lives in Elgin with her daughter, Alyssa, who she adopted at the age of two. Brenda was a foster mom to 25 children during her eleven years as a foster parent with the State of Texas. Before becoming the Toddler teacher here at FUMC, Brenda worked for the University of Texas Utilities and retired after 35 years. Brenda has also taught Sunday School for 35 years and is a member of Grace Community Baptist Church in Elgin. Brenda is a hard worker, and a dedicated, patient, and loving teacher. Thank you, Miss Brenda for all the love you share with our youngest friends at FUMC!



Teacher / Staff Spotlight

 
Mother’s Day Out Teacher / Staff Spotlight
Lisa Valchar
 
This week we feature our beloved teacher of our two year old class, Lisa Valchar. Lisa and her awesome aide, Mrs. Cat, provide a joyful and fun classroom for their nine little friends. This is Lisa’s third year teaching at FUMC and we are so blessed to have her on our team! Working with children has always been a joy for Lisa and she worked for five years at Austin Regional Clinic as a pediatric Medical Assistant before joining FUMC. Lisa has lived in Taylor for the past 30 years and she and her husband, Kenny, have four children, ages 26 to 10 years old. Lisa also has two grandchildren: a nine year old grandson and a four month old granddaughter. Lisa is a member of Temple of Praise Church and loves sharing God’s word with her class by teaching them to pray, share, forgive, help, and love each other like Jesus loves us! Thank you, Mrs. Lisa for all that you do for our two year olds! We love that God chose you to be our two year old teacher!


Teacher / Staff Spotlight

Mother’s Day Out Teacher Spotlight
Teri Rhinehart
 
Our Teacher Spotlight for this week features our wonderful three year old teacher, Teri Rhinehart. Teri comes to F.U.M.C. with an outstanding 39 years experience as a third grade, Kindergarten, and pre-Kindergarten teacher. She has taught in West Virginia, St. Mary’s in Taylor, and spent 28 of her teaching years at Hutto ISD. Teri and her late husband, Dave, have two children and three grandchildren. Along with working at our MDO program, Teri is also currently serving for her third year as the Children and Youth Ministry Director for the Taylor Community Bible Study program. We are so grateful to have Teri be a part of our Mother’s Day Out program and we thank her for all of her hard work, creativity, incredible patience, and dedication with our three year old class!


Teacher/Staff Spotlight

Teacher Spotlight

Debbie Grimm

For the next several weeks we would like to share a little with you about each of our wonderful teachers. This week we feature our awesome PreK teacher, Debbie Grimm. Debbie retired from teaching 2nd, 3rd,and 4th grade for Taylor ISD after 31 years. This is her sixth year teaching PreK here at FUMC. Debbie and her husband, Teddy, have three children and four grandchildren. Debbie serves as the organist and pianist at Taylor Brethren Church and dedicates much of her time every year to the Taylor Relay for Life team. Thank you, Debbie, for everything you do every week to prepare our PreK class for Kindergarten and to share God’s love with us!