Our dedicated staff consists of five lead teachers, six educational assistants, our music teacher, Danielle Cordova, our director, Lori Erven, and our office administrator, Jane Clinger.
The longevity of the staff speaks for itself. Staff members have been at St. Luke for an average of 7 years – some for over 15 years! This longevity results in a stable and consistent environment for learning and facilitates an excellent team approach to child development.
Our teaching staff have either a degree in early childhood or a related field, a Child Development Associate Degree, or are in the process of earning a degree. The teaching teams plan together and share the responsibility of providing a high quality program. Staff members participate in ongoing professional development.
The school’s governing body, the Preschool Committee, is made up of volunteers from the church congregation, parent representatives, staff representatives, the director, and a member of the pastoral staff. The committee is responsible for the school’s governing by-laws and operating policies. Through the years, committee members have included parents and grandparents, as well as educators, accountants, engineers, and more!
Lori Erven – Director
I am honored and humbled to serve as the director of St. Luke Preschool, where each day is filled with giggles, songs, hugs, discovery, and wonder.
I’ve been in the field of early childhood education for 40 years and earned my BA and my MA degrees from the University of New Mexico. I began my career teaching with Albuquerque Public Schools. I then took several wonderful years to be a stay-at- home mom with my daughters. I first came to St. Luke as a parent, when my youngest daughter began preschool over 20 years ago!
When I’m not at the preschool, I enjoy reading, biking, and hiking with my husband, and spending time with my daughters and my grandson. I am grateful to God for the blessings given each new day. “Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” Psalm 143:8
Jane Clinger-Office Administrator
I feel so blessed to work in this amazing school and am grateful to God for the opportunity to work in an environment with children. I have been the Office Administrator at the preschool for 11 of the last 14 years. I have a degree in marketing from Texas A&M University - Gig’ Em Aggies! At A&M I met my wonderful husband, Les, and will celebrate 40 years of marriage in 2024. Les retired from the Air Force
after our ABQ assignment, and we have lived in ABQ for 20+ years. We have 5 grown children, 3 grandchildren and one grandchild on the way. Unfortunately, our family is scattered in 4 different states and 4 time zones! I love my job and hope one day to have grandchild at St. Luke! In the meantime, I enjoy houses, hiking, traveling, and spending time with my family. I am a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, and my faith defines my life. My favorite verse for this year is from Psalm 73:26, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever".
Laura Fleher - Lead Teacher for the Younger Multi-Age Swallowtails class (YMA-S):
This is my first-year teaching at St. Luke, and I am blessed to have this opportunity to be a part of your child’s life. What has inspired my calling and mission in the early childhood education field for the past twenty years is how wonder-filled, magical, beautiful, and precious these little humans and the early years are. My goals are to establish relationships with you and your child and to inspire, support, and encourage a love of learning while meeting your child’s developmental needs. My teaching philosophy is informed by several teaching approaches, including Reggio Emilia and Montessori, with an emphasis on positive discipline. I have a master’s degree in teaching and a bachelor’s degree in speech and hearing science. Originally from New Jersey, I have been enchanted by New Mexico for the past 23 years. In my leisure time, I enjoy eating a delicious breakfast of homemade bagels made by Peter, my beloved of 33 years. I also can be found doing yoga, exploring nature, improving my proficiency in foreign languages (Spanish, French, Greek and German), and drawing portraits.
Victoria Villa – Educational Assistant for the Younger Multi-Age Swallowtails class (YMA-S):
Hello Swallowtail Families! Welcome to St. Luke Preschool. My name is Victoria Villa, and I am the educational assistant in the classroom. I graduated from Eastern New Mexico University in 2021 with my bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. I have been working with infants, toddlers, and kindergartners for a total of 4 years. I live in Edgewood, NM with my husband who I have been married to for 8 years, and my 12-year-old Tortoise Calico cat. I love to travel, play video games, do yoga, go out to eat, have cookouts, and work in my yard. I look forward to working with each and every one of you this school year!
Ms. Clarisa - Lead Teacher for the Younger Multi-Age Monarchs class (YMA-M):
I am really looking forward to teaching your child this school year. I have been working at St. Luke Preschool for 6 years with a variety of age groups, but I especially like the younger multi-age class. It’s amazing to see how much they grow and change over the school year. I have my associate degree in early childhood education. I am originally from Georgia, but I have lived in New Mexico for 7 years and have grown to love my new home. When I am not working, I keep myself busy with hiking, reading, cooking, watching movies and spending time with my fiancé David, friends, and family.
Ms. Amanda Gehl - Educational Assistant for the Younger Multi-Age Monarchs class (YMA-M):
Hello parents! I am so excited to be teaching your child this year! I have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts and a master’s in art education. Before starting our family, I worked in the classroom focusing on Art Integration, one of my passions. I took a number of years off from the classroom while we started a family and returned last year to work part time here at St Luke. I love being in the classroom and coming up with creative ways to engage my students! I know we are going to have lots of fun this year as we get to grow together, learn, and create! In my free time when I am not hanging out with my 2 young boys, I enjoy sewing, gardening, hiking, taking road trips with my family and working on diy projects as we begin building our homestead in the East Mountains.
Ms. Kelly - Lead Teacher for the Intermediate Multi-Age class (IMA):
Greetings! My name is Kelly Bailey, and I am excited to be a part of your child’s educational experience! I was born in Washington DC, but spent most of my formative years here in New Mexico enjoying the desert life. My husband and I have been married for twenty-two years, and we have two sons: Logan seventeen, and Luca fourteen. Both of our boys attended St. Luke Preschool! Because of the exceptional
time my children and family had at St. Luke, I was inspired to return to school later on in life to pursue a career in early childhood education. This will be my third-year teaching at St. Luke. Prior to that, I spent many years as a lead teacher for the New Mexico Pre-K Program, as well as a substitute teacher with the Albuquerque Public School system. It is terrific to be working here at St. Luke, and with all the amazing.
families and staff that support it. We are going to have a great year as we learn and grow together!
Ms. Daisy - Educational Assistant for the Intermediate Multi-Age class (IMA)
I am excited to be working at St. Luke, and this will be my second year here at St. Luke. I have over 6 years of experience in the early childhood field. I am currently working on completing my degree in early childhood education. I am looking forward to having a fantastic year with all of you.
Claudia Medina - Lead Teacher for the Older Multi-Age class (OMA):
I am very excited to be your child's teacher this year! I'm from Mexico. I'm bilingual in English and Spanish and have a Bachelor of Science in education. I've worked at St. Luke Preschool for eight years.
I have a beautiful family, my husband, Nicolas, and three children: Nicolas, Ana Victoria, and Andrew. We enjoy traveling and watching movies. My children attended St. Luke as their first school experience!
Candice Ortega - Educational Assistant for the Older Multi-Age class (OMA):
I have worked in early childhood for 24 years and have worked at St. Luke Preschool for 18 years. In that time, I have served in different roles as an educational assistant, a lead teacher, and also a.m. and p.m. care teacher. This small-town girl from Grants, New Mexico, is so blessed to work with the children and families of St. Luke. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends which includes my husband of 18 years.
Kathy Montgomery – Lead Teacher for the KinderPrep class (KP):
I currently work in St. Luke's KinderPrep classroom. I have enjoyed working at St. Luke's for 15+ years with every age group. I have an associate degree in early multicultural education, a certificate in Child Development, and I occasionally work as a Mentor for the CNM Early Childhood Mentor Program. I love spending time with my wonderful husband, kids, and grandchildren bike riding, sharing a great meal, or vacationing together. One of my many passions has been being a part of the St. Luke community and sharing God's love with little people.
Staci Lennox – Educational Assistant for the KinderPrep class (KP):
I have been an educational assistant at St. Luke Preschool for 5 years and have worked with young children for over 17 years. I received my New Mexico Child Development Certificate and continue to learn through mentoring and experience. I have been married to my husband, Daniel, for 6 years, and we have two sons, Cameron, who will turn 3 in December, and Cason who was born in April 2023.
Teaching children is my God given passion, and I love what I do, and I am looking forward to another exciting year at St. Luke Preschool.
Courtney Bernstein – Floater and PM Extended Care
Hello! My name is Courtney Bernstein, and I am excited to be here at St. Luke Preschool! I was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina with my Mom, Dad, and Brother. I completed my bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of North Carolina Charlotte. My husband, Ben Bernstein, and I recently got married and moved out here with our dog Cooper. Ben is here for his internship and is the Student Pastor
at St. Luke. We are excited to experience Albuquerque this year! I am looking forward to this wonderful school year with all of you! Peace & Blessings.
Danielle Cordova - Music Teacher
Albuquerque-native Danielle Cordova has recently returned to her hometown to join St. Luke as the Coordinator of Music Ministries. Danielle’s grandparents gave her the gift of piano lessons at 7 years old and voice lessons at 11, and with continued support from family and teachers, she completed a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. As she worked on her degree, she gained experience as a choral scholar at St. Paul’s Methodist Church; as a pianist and choir director at Holy Family American National Catholic Church; and as pianist and music director at Trinity Lutheran Church. Mrs. Cordova has performed roles both onstage and backstage in Doña Ana Lyric Opera’s productions of Orphee aux enfers, Dido and Aeneas, Die Fledermaus, Trial by Jury, Serse, The Cask of Amontillado, The Medium, and the world premiere of The Verloren Opera. Danielle has also performed as a collaborative pianist for NMSU music students and theater productions. Aside from her musical accomplishments, Mrs. Cordova has acted as a director in A Children’s Theater of the Mesilla Valley’s productions of Sleepy Hollow, The Adventures of Dr. Doolittle, The Phantom Tollbooth, and Miracle on 34 th Street. Her varied experience and solid foundation in church music are helping St. Luke’s
music program continue to thrive.