Children of Joy! Preschool takes pride in having the best teachers available. Many of our staff members have been here for several years, having experienced our program first hand with their own children. In addition to their high school or college education, Texas Department of Childcare Licensing requires each staff member to receive 24 hours of continuing education each year. Our teachers accomplish this task by taking workshops and attending conferences on a variety of topics throughout the school year. This material helps them to stay up-to-date on the most current child development information available.
To ensure our program continues to grow and improve, we offer a CDA (Child Development Associate) program on an annual basis to all of our teachers who may be interested. This 6 month program gives them to opportunity to study how children develop and how to use this information to better their classrooms and their teaching experiences. At the conclusion of this program, the teachers will receive their Child Development Associate Credential. The CDA program is partially funded by our Preschool Team and requires each participant to sign a one year contract, ensuring our program will benefit from their professional growth.
Finally, as safety is a primary concern, each staff member is required to have CPR/ First Aid training and a complete background check every two years.
Kimberly Sheffer is the Children of Joy! Preschool Director and lives in The Woodlands with her family. She has worked with children for almost 30 years and joined the staff at Children of Joy in July 2011. Kimberly is active in her church children's choir as well as the adult choir. [Read more...]
I have a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from Oklahoma State University, go Pokes! I moved to The Woodlands in 2004 although, I am originally from Oklahoma. I have two daughters and one son. When I am not at COJ!, I am a full time dance and cheer mom. I also enjoy baking, crafting, shopping and working out. My youngest daughter began at Children of Joy! Preschool in the fall of 2004 in the Ladybug Toddler classroom. She went all the way through our program to the Butterflies. I began working at COJ! in the spring of 2007 as the Financial Director. I have seen many COJ! families come through the program and witnessed many changes. I have thoroughly enjoyed my years here! [Read more...]
I began working at Children of Joy! in 2012. Before moving to Houston in 2011, I lived in Pittsburgh, PA and taught First Grade. I graduated from Clarion University with a dual degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education and then received my Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Gannon University. My husband and I live in Magnolia with our three children, two of which attended Children of Joy!. I love baking and spending time with my family traveling to the beach, riding bikes and swimming! I believe all children have different learning styles and I help teachers incorporate them into their classrooms. My goal at COJ! is to continue to assist the teachers in giving the children the best possible learning experiences possible to help them develop skills for Kindergarten and life. [Read more...]
My name is Yvonne Avocato and I am licensed Speech-Language Pathologist. My husband and I are both from New Orleans but we have lived in The Woodlands since 2006 after he got out of the Navy. We have two boys who attend school in the area. I graduated from the University of New Orleans with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and earned a Master’s in Communication Disorders from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. I have worked and treated pediatric patients since 2003 in a variety of settings (private practice, school system, and home health). My passion is helping toddler/preschool age children to make gains towards age-level speech, language, and social communication. When I am not at work, I love spending time with my boys and my husband. I also love reading, listening to live music, participating in our church’s marriage ministry, and cooking. [Read more...]
I am originally from the UK where I worked for the City Council in both the Equality & Diversity team and the Policy, Improvement & Performance team within the Chief Executive Directorate. My husband is Steve and together we have 4 boys, Lochlan, Dalton and the twins Mitchell & Chase. We moved to Texas in 2012 and I have been fortunate since to be able to stay home with my boys. This allowed me to be an active volunteer in their schools the last 7 years whilst simultaneously running my yoga business. I'm currently a member of the PTO at Bush Elementary. Our family moved to The Woodlands in 2018 where my youngest son attended Pre-k in the Owls class at COJ. We quickly fell in love with the preschool and I started the 2019 school year working in a shadow position for an adorable little girl in the turtles. In my spare time I enjoy travelling, yoga, and my favorite thing to do is grow vegetables and tend to my garden. [Read more...]
Growing up my family moved every 2-3 years because my father flew in the U.S. Air Force. I lived in Korea, Germany, England and all over the USA. That experience gave me a zest for adventure and travel. I studied abroad for a semester in London, England and received a BBA from Texas Tech University. I worked in Marketing for several years and met my husband, Graham, while I was working for an oil company. I was fortunate to be able to stay at home with my two precious children, Catarina and Kylan for 8 years. I started at COJ in 2016 as a "shadow" to an adorable little boy in the Ladybugs class. [Read more...]
I started at COJ in 2020. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Art History from the University of Houston and earned my teaching certificate for Early Childhood Development through sixth grade from Texas Teachers. I spent the past four years teaching first and second grade at Ponderosa Elementary School in SISD. My daughter Beatrix attended COJ in the Owls class, and my son spent three years here; from the Turtles to the Owls class. I fell in love with this school as I watched both of my children grow and blossom through early childhood programs offered here. I jumped at the opportunity to become part of the COJ team! My family and I live in the Woodlands/Conroe area and both of my kids attend Bush Elementary School. When I’m not at school, I love spending time with my family and practicing yoga. [Read more...]
I am from Venezuela and I moved to Texas 20 years ago. I have been working in the pre-school field for over 15 years. I started working at Children of Joy as a substitute teacher for the past two years. I am so excited to work Ms. Stephanie this school year. I feel so blessed to be part of this school. [Read more...]
I began teaching at COJ in 2014, and have been teaching Pre-K in the Owls since 2016. I am from Scotland and have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. I taught for many years in Scotland, mainly working in a 2nd grade classroom. I live in The Woodlands with my husband and two daughters, both of who are at college. In my free time, I love to garden and watch Rugby. [Read more...]
I grew up in a small, southeast town in Missouri called Poplar Bluff. I attended Arkansas State University and graduated in '95 with an Early Childhood Education Degree. I then married my husband, Brian Collins, and started teaching 6th grade. Within the next 2 years, we moved to Texas and had our first daughter. I decided to stay home with her but still had a passion to teach so I taught Sunday School for 7 years. I have been teaching at Children of Joy since 2012. I have 3 beautiful children, and a husband of 20 years. I am blessed beyond measure and so incredibly thankful for everything God has given to me. [Read more...]
I am originally from Scotland where I worked for a university managing the research and development support function. My husband, daughter and I moved to The Woodlands in 2014. My daughter Olivia attended COJ and absolutely loved her time as a Ladybug, Bee and Owl. My return to work initially was in a volunteer role at Texas Children’s Hospital for 2 years and I have been an active volunteer at my daughter's school since her kindergarten year. I have enjoyed being a substitute teacher at COJ before jumping at the opportunity to join the Bees class. It is a joy to work with your children. In my spare time I enjoy running, working out and watching my daughters sports activities. As a family we enjoy cycling, swimming and movies together. [Read more...]
I’ve spent most of my life living in bonnie Scotland before moving to Texas in 2014. I’ve been a qualified Early years Teacher since 1997, teaching mainly in public Preschool and Kindergarten classes. I live in The Woodlands with my husband and two daughters, the youngest of which attended COJ as a Turtle and Frog. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, walking my two dogs and socializing with friends. [Read more...]
I am delighted to be joining COJ this school year (2021)!! I am originally from Scotland where I worked as a Social Worker for 7 years until my husband and I relocated to Dallas in 2009 for his employment. I have lived in Dallas, Dubai UAE and now Houston since 2016. I have been fortunate enough to stay home with my 2 boys for the past 11 years, one of whom is also part of the COJ family! In my free time I enjoy exercising, cycling, watching my oldest son dive and I absolutely love traveling." [Read more...]
After living in New Jersey, Tennessee, Missouri, and Wisconsin, my husband, Josh, and I moved to The Woodlands in 2013. We have four children, Patrick, Katie, Maggie and Lizzy. Our youngest two children attended Children of Joy! and we quickly fell in love with the preschool. Growing up my mother ran an in-home daycare where I assisted in the planning and supervising of the activities for the children, this sparked my passion for teaching children. I graduated from Loyola University in Maryland with a degree in Business Management and worked as a paralegal in a law firm but resigned from my position to stay home with our children. After years of helping others with their children in addition to raising my own, I knew working with young children was where I wanted to be and what better place to teach than the school my children still talk about today! I am truly blessed to work with children and help them discover the world around them! We keep busy cheering on our children in their different sporting events and musical performances! Patrick attends Wheaton College in Massachusetts and plays on the basketball team. Katie plays volleyball and runs track and Maggie plays basketball and runs track too! Lizzy is our musician who enjoys playing the piano and guitar while singing and song writing. As a family, we enjoy attending games, swimming, and watching movies. I also enjoy reading and crocheting. [Read more...]
I am so excited to be working with preschool children at Children of Joy! I graduated from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana with a degree in Elementary Education and moved to Houston from Indiana to be a 5th grade math and science teacher. After teaching a few years, I was a missionary to college students in Paris, France for 2 years before moving back to minister to college students at Rice University. We moved to The Woodlands in 2002. For the last 15 years I have homeschooled my 2 sons and provided a home daycare caring for infants through school-aged children. I have one son at Texas A&M and 1 who is a junior in high school. Along with my husband, we love traveling together and watching lots of sports. Getting to work with preschool children brings me such joy as I get to watch them discover how God uniquely created each of them and the world around them. [Read more...]
My name is Kathleen Richards and I grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I studied history and political science at Saint Mary’s College and have my Masters of Education from Loyola University Chicago. I began my teaching career in Chicago Public Schools where I taught second, fourth, and fifth grade. I loved my time in Chicago Public and, after having spent the last few years at home with my own children, I am thrilled to be back in the classroom. I have three children and my youngest, Sophie, went to COJ Preschool. In my free time I am an avid runner and enjoy trying new fitness classes. I also love music and can often be found playing the piano or singing to the radio. As a family we enjoy traveling to spend time with family, hiking in the Texas Hill Country, and exploring new restaurants all over the Houston area. [Read more...]
My name is Crystal Wueste and I am very excited about being part of the COJ family! In 2017, my family moved to The Woodlands/Conroe area where my son started Children of Joy! I immediately fell in love with COJ and quickly became part of the COJ family by subbing and being a paraprofessional in one of the Pre-K classrooms. Originally from North Carolina, I moved to Texas in 2002, graduated from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 2004 and then obtained two teaching certificates for the state of Texas in both General and Special Education. I have enjoyed working as an Early Childhood Educator for 5 years and I feel very blessed that GOD led me to COJ. I am looking forward to creating a joyful learning environment that allows your child to grow in both academics and spiritual growth. [Read more...]
My husband Dwayne and I have two children, Riley and Landon. In my free time my kids keep me very busy! I enjoy just staying home and spending time with my family. I have been a teacher at COJ! since 2014. I have always wanted to work with children and feel truly blessed to be a member of the staff at COJ! [Read more...]
I began working at Children of Joy as a Pre-K teacher in 2001; I did this for three years. After moving overseas, I came back to COJ in 2012, taught Pre-K for one year, and then moved to the Transition class. I have been in this position since 2013. I first began working in the preschool setting when I lived in Louisiana in 1996. We were transferred around quite a bit, so I worked off and on as a teacher. I graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch with a bachelor’s degree in Health Care Information. I obtained my CDA in 2002. I went back to school and received my teaching certificate and ESL certificate in 2008. I have been in the teaching field for over 20 years. I have two grown children that live far away. I love to travel and see new places, but especially love to visit my children. I believe that it is our job as teachers to create a nurturing environment and help children develop a love of learning as we prepare them for Kindergarten. [Read more...]
I am thrilled to be teaching Spanish at COJ! I received my B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from North Carolina State University in 2008. I am very passionate about languages, and excited to be back in the classroom as my youngest enters elementary school. Originally from North Carolina, my husband and I spent 5 years abroad in Canada where our two sons were born. Our experience with COJ! began in 2015 upon our return to Texas. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to serve on the COJ! Preschool Board as Fundraiser Chair, as well as substitute teach at the preschool. As the Spanish teacher, my goal is to introduce the concept of Spanish foreign language by engaging the children with stories, music and art to teach basic, everyday Spanish vocabulary. Above all else, I want to make it fun! When I’m not at work, I play a lot of tennis, and enjoy spending time with my family both in the area and through our travels. [Read more...]
My name is Kerrie and I am originally from England, UK. We moved to the USA in 2006 for my husband’s work. I originally started out my working career in the Insurance Industry but after 17 years, I learned a new profession and ran my own business as a beauty therapist until we moved here and I became a mom. My husband Richard and I have one daughter, Mia whom we adopted right here in the USA along with 2 cats and a dog. I love all things active, creative and love to get my hands messy. My daughter is a COJ Alumni and she loved her time here. When she started Elementary, I found I had too much time on my hands and came back to COJ as a sub. In 2017, I started as a 2-day Floater. I assist teachers and staff with a variety of duties. Over the years, I have spent lots of time in each classroom and love watching the little ones develop through the school year. [Read more...]