Meet the Teachers and Staff

Mrs. Lori Jenks
Director of St. Paul Lutheran Preschool and
Lead Teacher in the M/Th & T/Fr 3-year-old class (Lamb Class)

Love of children and her relationship with God led Lori to dream of being a teacher of children in a faith-based setting. She succeeded in moving toward this dream when in 1987 she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in education from Concordia University in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a special endorsement in early childhood education. Lori began her teaching career and as her passion for teaching continued, Lori earned her Masters of Science in Education from Northwest Missouri State University. Lori currently holds her State of Iowa K-6 Elementary Classroom and PK-K Classroom License. Although she has used her education at schools and churches to teach children ranging from 3-years-old to 18-years old over the past 30 years, Lori’s passion is to equip the young child. Half of her 30 years in teaching have been spent in early childhood education, including the past 13 years at St. Paul Preschool.

Mrs. Sandy VanNostrand
Lead Teacher in the 4-and-5-year old class (Lion Class and Bear Class)

Sandy is a two-time graduate of Iowa State. She holds a Bachelor’s in Child, Adult, and Family Service, and a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education. After graduating in 2011, she taught in Huxley for three years before coming to St. Paul. She loves working with preschool children because they are eager to learn and persistent in everything they attempt!

Mrs. Paula Dacken
Lead Teacher in the M-Fr 3-year old class (Lamb Class)

Paula likes working with children. She finds it very rewarding to watch children learn new skills. She has been a Sunday school teacher at Memorial Lutheran Church for many years. She has been teaching preschool at St. Paul for 7 wonderful years. Paula earned her Teacher Associate Degree from Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny.

Mrs. Donna Heilman
Financial Secretary at St. Paul Lutheran Preschool

Donna graduated from Northern Arizona University with a degree in Mathematics and Statistics. She also did graduate work at Iowa State University. She has a variety of experiences working with children including 8 years as a teacher/bookkeeper at St. Paul Lutheran Preschool, 15 years as a Sunday School teacher, and more than 15 years as a volunteer in Ames area schools.

Mrs. Kristen Leichty – Associate Teacher in the Monday-Friday 3-Year-Old Class (Lamb Class)                                                                        

Kristen graduated with a Social Work degree from Eastern Mennonite University and later in life received her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Iowa. She has a variety of experiences working with different age groups including 7 years as a Youth Pastor and teaching preschoolers in Sunday School and Bible School. She loves seeing preschoolers ability to pretend play and watching their eyes light up when they learn or try something new.

Mrs. Beth Lucht – Associate Teacher for the 4-and-5-Year-Old Class (Lion and Bear Class)                                                                                                     

Beth is a graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in LAS.  Prior to working as a teacher associate for St. Paul Beth worked with special needs children and adults.  During that time she served as a supervisor over several faith based group homes and served as a Training Coordinator.  She specialized in teaching staff how to work with special needs children and adults with extra emphasis in handling challenging behaviors in a positive way, which includes making each child/adult feel safe, valued, and loved.  In addition to her work with the special needs population Beth also volunteers with the Upward Basketball program as a coach and helps with her church’s Sunday school when needed.  One of the greatest joys of working with preschoolers is watching them grow and develop.  They change so much in the course of a year and it is such an honor to be a part of that transformation. 

Form: 2018-2019 Application for Enrollment

All Day Care Option for 4 & 5’s: 18-19 All Day Care